Managing mental health during COVID-19

Published on: April 15th, 2020

As we move through this period of uncertainty impacting so many aspects of our lives, from health to social connections, finances, and employment, managing mental health is a critical piece of the puzzle. Financial insecurity or uncertainty is one of the biggest causes of stress in Australia, and there is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these issues for many.

Even for those who are financially secure, periods of isolation, inability to see friends and loved ones, and disruption to daily life can impact mental health and wellbeing. Today’s access to overwhelming amounts of information, from the 24-hour media cycle to the opinions of others on social media, can increase these feelings.

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing any form of mental distress, from depression and withdrawal to heightened emotions, it’s important to get help. If their financial situation is a key factor, financial advice can help. Our advisers help many people who are experiencing financial difficulty and can even connect them with a financial counsellor who can further support their recovery.

It’s also important, regardless of the cause, to seek out mental health advice. Mental health foundation, Beyond Blue, provides a 24-hour support line, a wealth of resources, and an online forum directly related to COVID-19, so it can be a great place to start.

I wanted to share with you Beyond Blue’s advice for coping through the Coronavirus:

Try to maintain perspective

While it is reasonable for people to be concerned about the outbreak of coronavirus, try to remember that medical, scientific and public health experts around the world are working hard to contain the virus, treat those affected and develop a vaccine as quickly as possible.

Find a healthy balance in relation to media coverage

Being exposed to large volumes of negative information can heighten feelings of 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.

Access good quality information

It’s important to get accurate information from credible sources such as those listed below. This will also help you maintain perspective and feel more in control.

Try to maintain a practical and calm approach

Widespread panic can complicate efforts to manage the outbreak effectively. Do your best to stay calm and follow official advice, particularly around observing good hygiene habits.

The Australian Psychological Society has advice about maintaining positive mental health during the outbreak.

Try not to make assumptions

To contribute to a sense of community wellbeing, try to remember that the coronavirus can affect anyone regardless of their nationality or ethnicity and remember that those with the disease have not done anything wrong.

Managing your mental health while in self-isolation or quarantine

There are a number of ways to support your mental health during periods of self-isolation or quarantine.

  • Remind yourself that this is a temporary period of isolation to slow the spread of the virus.
  • Remember that your effort is helping others in the community avoid contracting the virus.
  • Stay connected with friends, family and colleagues via email, social media, video conferencing or telephone.
  • Connect with others via the Beyond Blue forums thread: Coping during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Engage in healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing.
  • Keep regular sleep routines and eat healthy foods.
  • Try to maintain physical activity.
  • Establish routines as best possible and try to view this period as a new experience that can bring health benefits.
  • For those working from home, try to maintain a healthy balance by allocating specific work hours, taking regular breaks and, if possible, establishing a dedicated workspace.
  • Avoid news and social media if you find it distressing

Source: Beyond Blue.

You can read the full article here.

If you, or someone you know, needs financial advice, get in touch with your Apt adviser or contact the Apt team to find out how we can help.

If you or someone in your life is experiencing mental health issues, suicidal thoughts, distress or crisis, you can contact Beyond Blue, 24 hours a day on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

General Advice warning

The information provided in this blog does not constitute financial product advice. The information is of a general nature only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be used, relied upon, or treated as a substitute for specific professional advice. Apt Wealth Partners (AFSL and ACL 436121 ABN 49 159 583 847) and Apt Wealth Home Loans (powered by Smartline ACL 385325) recommends that you obtain professional advice before making any decision in relation to your particular requirements or circumstances.