Remember this situation won’t last forever and it won’t affect everything you do. Having an optimistic outlook has been linked to positive health benefits.
In times of stress, we work better with support. Self –isolation and containment doesn’t mean cutting off personal ties. Use technology like facetime, video calls, messages and emails to stay in touch with friends and family.
Avoid social media and the news
Being exposed to negative information can increase anxiety. While it’s important to stay informed, you may find it useful to limit your media intake if it is upsetting you or your family.
Grounding yourself in the present has been linked to increased happiness. This takes effort when you are tired or stressed so practice developing your mindfulness skills. Smiling Mind is a free app that helps you practice daily mediation and mindfulness exercises.
Be open and honest with children
Caregivers should talk about the virus in an open and honest way. Stick to facts without causing alarm, and keep chats age and personality appropriate. Listen to questions, let children know they are safe, and that it’s normal to feel concerned. Discuss the news with them but try and avoid over-exposure to virus coverage.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by outbreak news particularly if you have experienced mental health issues before. Maintaining normal routines, staying in touch with friends and family, eating a balanced diet and staying physically active can help. Acknowledge feelings of distress and seek further professional support if required.
The LGIS Counselling Services is a free, short term support service available to local government workers by phone on 0456 914 733. The Beyond Blue Support Service offers short term counselling and referrals by phone and webchat on 1300 224 636 or via beyondblue.org.au.
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