The COVID-19 pandemic has caused all kinds of changes, large and small. People around the world have been impacted. Odds are, you’ve had to adapt in the face of the pandemic in some way.
According to experts at Northeastern University, such change is stressful because it involves facing the unknown. This stress can have negative repercussions on mental health — a fact that the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association is keen to flag and counteract with accessible resources.
The below guide provides tips and tools to help you cope with COVID-related life changes.
If you’ve lost your job or experienced a decrease in income due to COVID-19, you aren’t alone. One million people in Australia lost their jobs in a single month at the start of the crisis — and the repercussions are ongoing. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, look for ways to earn money online. Forbes offers a list of the best work-from-home jobs and companies that hire remotely, from Dell to Kaplan.
Whether you’ve managed to keep your job or are starting a new telecommute gig, odds are you’ll be working from home to minimize COVID-19 risk. To foster productivity and focus, turn your home into a fresh and vibrant space where you can concentrate. Eliminate negative energy with sage, give the space a thorough deep clean, and open the windows to let in fresh air and sunlight. Research suggests natural light improves productivity.
Family & Social Life
Working from home is especially difficult if you have children. Remote learning brings added stress for kids and parents alike. Help your family adapt by establishing a new COVID-friendly routine to guide you through the “new normal.” For example, maybe you take the kids for a walk around the block in the morning, giving your partner some much-needed solo time. In the evening, you can swap roles. This gives you both a chance to destress.
If you’re single and living alone, you may find that COVID-19 presents the opposite problem: You have too much time alone. Focus on maintaining an active social life, even if you’re only meeting people virtually. Psychology Today reveals that socializing has many health benefits and suggests using Skype, Zoom, or Facetime to catch up with loved ones long-distance.
Many people are leading a more sedentary lifestyle because they are spending more time at home and are no longer commuting to work, school, or social events. According to the Australian Government’s Department of Health, however, it’s essential to stay active to maintain good health during this time. Look for new and innovative ways to workout. You can join online fitness classes if you can’t or don’t want to go to the gym to workout, for example.
It’s also important to take self-care measures to improve your mental (not just your physical) wellbeing. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that cases of anxiety and depression are on the rise following COVID-19. A study charging mental wellbeing in Australia indicates an increase in symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression of 13 to 21%. Be proactive about preserving mental health by taking steps like exercising, meditating, and investing in self-care.
COVID-19 will change your life in some way — if it hasn’t already. That change doesn’t have to be bad, however. Hopefully, the above guide has given you some inspiration for adapting and staying and happy and healthy in these unprecedented times.
The Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association is dedicated to helping individuals and communities stay well throughout this troubling time. Visit the website for resources to help, including podcasts, blogs, and more.
This article was kindly written and contributed by Jennifer Scott.