It’s been a rather stressful couple of weeks for all of us in the midst of the coronavirus and the effects it has had on our lives. For nearly all of us, this is the greatest and most impactful event that’s happened in our lifetime…and it can be overwhelming to say the least. I’m sure you’ve been hearing about the devastation the virus is causing and negatives of the situation, so I won’t get into that. Are you sick of it? So am I! Learning to cope with this stress will make you, your family and community stronger! Believe it or not, there is some good news to come out of this situation.
“We can’t always control the situation, but we can always control how we respond to it”
What positives can we take out of this situation?
- Opportunity to spend more time with family
- Opportunity to spend time doing things you didn’t have time for previously like reading a book, watching a series, painting a picture or working on your car
- Catch up on sleep
- We are not alone, we have support from our families, friends and the government
- It will be over soon, our medical experts are working very hard to contain the virus and treat it
What are some ways we can reduce stress to help maintain a positive outlook?
1. Find a balance with media coverage and only consume credible information from trusted sources
Being exposed to large amounts of negative information can increase stress levels. It’s important to stay informed, but constantly reading people’s opinions and thoughts on social media, for example, can be upsetting mentally. So, take a break from watching, reading or listening to news stories and social media posts! Focus on the positives of the situation and don’t get sucked into the social media hole, it can be all-consuming.
2. Connect with others
Talk to people you care about and try to be the calm voice in their lives and your’s. Do your best to stay calm and project that onto people in your house and network. Staying connected to friends and colleagues is very important for our mental health and reduces the feeling of isolation.
We all have the ability to call, email or video call somebody and maintain our social networks. Check up on your mates regularly!
3. Exercise and wellbeing
Exercise is a proven medicine for mental health. When we exercise, our body releases ‘happy hormones’ called endorphins which helps to relieve pain and stress. Our body also releases dopamine and serotonin, which are chemicals responsible for our happiness! So, after exercise, these chemicals lift our mood and trigger positive energy…and the best part is, it’s free and natural. Exercise is also a great way to boost your immune system! For more ways you can boost your immune system, check out blog “5 Ways To Boost Your Immune System” here.
Exercise helps with:
- Increasing energy levels, especially in the morning
- Improving sleep quality
- Distracting you from worries
- Improving your self-esteem and mood
If you exercised before the gyms closed, it’s important to keep your routine and maintain your health and fitness. If you didn’t exercise previously, now’s your chance!
Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise on most days. This can include home workouts or walking/running and does not require much space or equipment. Taking deep breaths, eating healthy, good sleep habits and reducing alcohol are all great ways of maintaining or improving your wellbeing during this tough time.
4. Do things you enjoy
Make the most of this down time to unwind and enjoy some activities that maybe you couldn’t previously do. Doing things you enjoy will help to ease your stress and make you feel better about the current situation. It will also reduce the feeling of isolation and boredom, as well as keeping you occupied to pass the time. Work on the car in your garage, read that book you always wanted to read, watch that movie or series everyone has been talking about, finish that puzzle that’s collecting dust!
5. Reach out if you need to
If you are experiencing increased levels of stress during this time, know that it is normal, and you are not alone. There are many government support services to assist with financial hardships. Now is the time to reach out to support networks and for professional help if you need to. Here are some services you can access for help:
BeyondBlue– is a not for profit organisation that exists to support anyone with improving their mental health through advice, programs and referral to appropriate services.
24/7 Contact: 1300 224 636
HeadSpace– is a not for profit government organisation supporting youth with mental health. They assist with advice over the phone, online or in one of their centres and also assist with community programs and connecting people with the right support.
Contact online: https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/ or pop into one of their stores near you.
LifeLine– provides free, 24-hour telephone and online support to assist with suicide prevention, mental health and emotional support.
24/7 contact: 13 11 14
At Revive Physiotherapy and Pilates, we are here to help. If you are unsure how to maintain your exercise at home or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us on (03) 9391-2600 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.