The COVID-19 pandemic is throwing up a lot of challenges beyond having enough toilet paper or being able to watch a game of footy.

The challenges associated with social distancing and isolation, including separation from loved ones, loss of freedom and reduced income, are leading some people to experience feelings of anxiety, boredom, frustration and fear.

But there’s good advice out there to help us to look after our mental health while we play our part in flattening the curve.

The Australian Psychological Society has out a fact sheet on maintaining your mental health during isolation

Tips for maintaining a positive outlook during periods of self-isolation:

  • reminding yourself that this period of self-isolation is temporary
  • thinking of the benefits of self-isolation to the wider society, including slowing the spread of the virus and protecting those most vulnerable in your community
  • remaining mindful that medical and scientific experts are following strict protocols to contain the virus and treat those affected
  • ensuring you have access to accurate, reliable and up-to-date information that communicates what is expected from you if you are in isolation
  • maintaining relationships with family, friends and colleagues (e.g., via telephone or video technologies)
  • not overusing social media as you are likely to be exposed to negative news and get drawn into doomsday discussions – try to keep your mind busy with activities you enjoy such as reading, watching movies, exercising and even spring cleaning the house
  • structuring your day when working from home – allocate specific work hours, schedule breaks and set-up a dedicated workspace where distractions are limited.
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