Mental health in the spotlight as Australia slowly restarts
There is a lot of chatter about the “new normal” way of life as Australia recovers from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but the picture being painted is pretty fuzzy. The structural and behavioural changes resulting from the pandemic will take some getting used to and the uncertainties are affecting the mental health of many Australians.
We have discussed some of the mental health implications of COVID in previous blogs (catch up here). So, let’s flip the conversation now and discuss how to check in with your own mental health to help ease anxieties in this transition phase.
How to check-in with mental health during COVID
Learning the tips and techniques from a psychological standpoint that help you tap into feelings of anxiety and stress allows for better control over your responses. Put simply, if you can train your brain to notice rising emotion then you can build resilience against the effects of depression and anxiety. Learn more about practising mindfulness during COVID here.
Reach out for help
Peer support is a vital preventative (and analgesic) measure against mental illness, for two reasons:
- You can gain insight into emotions that are often buried
- Being with other sympathetic people helps to fight loneliness and isolation
A qualified and experienced Counsellor leading a group discussion is one example of beneficial peer support.
Take a break
Mental health issues often arise when external situations beyond our control seem overwhelming. But one of the core tenets of mindfulness can help. Quiet the noise around you for a few minutes (or a day, or a weekend) to focus on your mental health without interruption.
Find mental health measures that work for you
Once you can focus on your mental health, you can start to plan a path of resilience. If you feel in a good place, preventative mental health measures will keep you buoyed during the uncertainty still surrounding us. If you are struggling, then be honest about what makes you feel better (e.g. exercise, Counselling, meditation, yoga, peer support sessions, creative projects).
There is no universal strategy for managing mental health, which is precisely why a mental health check-in is what you need right now. The good news is a qualified Counsellor can help you to navigate the rough roads ahead if you need.
And if you want to learn more about mental health as a career path, including Counselling, peer support and community programs, then browse our diverse Health and Community Services courses to discover all the ways you could help others battling mental illness in Australia.