Taking care of your mental wellbeing
We are in uncertain and unprecedented times, and everyone will respond differently to how COVID-19 is impacting them.
It’s important not only to look after our physical health but also look after our mental health at the same time.
It’s completely normal for people to be feeling a wide range of emotions, including worried, anxious, scared.
We are all in this together, and while we might not be able to be physically in touch right now, it’s important to stay connected in other ways.
New Zealand is known for its manaakitanga and now more than ever we need to remember the power of kindness and uniting together.
While there are things that we can’t control at the moment, there are things you can do to boost your mental wellbeing and that of your loved ones.
Top ways to look after your mental wellbeing
- Staying connected with others is so important for our wellbeing and helps to make us feel safer, less stressed and less anxious. We can support each other to get through this. While we are limiting social contact to contain the spread of COVID-19, there are still lots of ways we can connect.
- Acknowledge your feelings and reach out for support. It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, worried or scared in the current situation. Allow yourself time to notice and express what you are feeling. This could be by writing them down in a journal, talking to others, doing something creative, or practising meditation. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Wherever possible we should try to stick to our daily routines. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time, eat at regular times, shower, change your clothes, have regular e-meetings with colleagues or virtual coffee dates with friends, do your chores. Meditating and exercising can help you to relax and have a positive impact on your thoughts. Try not to increase unhealthy habits like comfort eating, drinking or smoking.
- Assisting other people who might need help and reaching out to those who may be feeling alone or concerned can benefit both you and the person receiving support.
- Seek accurate information from legitimate source You may find it useful to limit your media intake. Get the facts in order to help distinguish facts from rumours. Seek information updates at specific times during the day once or twice.
- Seek further professional support if you need it. For support with anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- If you are currently getting help with your mental health, continue with this if possible and notice if your symptoms are getting worse. Talk to your GP, counsellor, case worker or mental health team about how they can continue supporting you. Can your appointments take place over the phone, via email, text or video chat? What tips do they have to help you get through? Who can you call if you need help urgently? Write this down so you have it handy when you need it.
See the Ministry of Health advice on wellbeing in self-isolation for more information.