Your Best Life Disability and Health Services CEO, Debbie Blumel’s most recent article in My Weekly Preview talks about the recent reappearance of COVID-19 and mental health.
“You could almost hear the disappointment last week when COVID-19 reappeared on the Sunshine Coast. We all want to embrace the safety and good fortune of life in our beautiful coastal and hinterland communities.
I asked our psychologists at Mindcare Mental Health Services for some insight into the hearts and minds of local people. One provisional psychologist, Peter, said that COVID-19 is generating feelings of isolation and loneliness during lockdowns due to physical distancing rules. Physical distancing conflicts with our need to be with people we love or want to spend time with. Mental health issues associated with loneliness and isolation include depression, anxiety, stress, schizophrenia, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and suicide. Connecting with other people is very important to our well-being.
Peter notes that we all tried to adapt during the Queensland lockdowns. We took the opportunity to physically leave the home for exercise and we used digital technology to keep in touch with family and friends. Feelings of loneliness and isolation are understandable but can be alleviated by nurturing connections or helping others in our community, for example, by delivering care packages to vulnerable people or regularly checking on neighbours.
Ways of coping with stress and anxiety through COVID-19.
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. It’s good to be informed, but hearing about the pandemic constantly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body.
- Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditation
- Healthy, well-balanced meals
- Exercise regularly
- Lots of sleep!
- Try to establish a routiune during lockdown
- Avoid having excess alcohol, smoking or substance use.
- Get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine when available.
- Make time to unwind. Try to focus on the things that make you happy. It’s you time!
- Connect with others. While social distancing measures are in place, it’s still important to check in with your loved ones. Whether that is through technology, old-fashioned letter, or a pigeon carry. Either way, your friends or family will be happy to hear from you.