Our global community has never been better connected on social media than now. As we all learn to adjust our individual lives to survive the Covid-19 pandemic, it has never been a more relevant time for us to remember how to keep our levels of anxiety in check.
Here are our AUSSIE BRONZE mental health tips to surviving a pandemic:
Switch media and social media off for a set period each day – the intense coverage and conflicting messaging being shared across all platforms can increase feelings of anxiety and depression. You can feel more in control by listening to news updates on your terms.
Use media to stay connected in positive ways – choose interesting or fun ways to channel your thoughts.
In Australia we have a Facebook group @BinIsolationOuting which was created “because the garbage bin goes out more than us – so let’s dress up for the occasion!” Laughter is the best medicine after all.
Breathing and mindfulness techniques can help manage feelings of stress. Breathing exercises don’t have to take a lot of time out of your day. It’s really just about setting aside some time to pay attention to your breathing. Here are a few ideas to get started:
1. Begin with just 5 minutes a day, and increase your time as the exercise becomes easier and more comfortable.
2. If 5 minutes feels too long, start with just 2 minutes
3. Practice multiple times a day
We found more than 10 different types of breathing exercises to perform. Who knew there was more than one? Close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths from your diaphragm. After a few minutes, it can help to ground your state of mind and will ultimately leave you feeling more relaxed.
There are some wonderful free apps out there too like Calm so get to your app store and give it a try. You could also incorporate meditation as part of this routine.
Aromatherapy has been used since ancient times to promote feelings of calm and relaxation. This natural remedy works by stimulating areas of the brain that are responsible for our emotions.
Ylang Ylang promotes feelings of comfort and joy. It simultaneously reduces heart rate, improves your mood and promotes relaxation. Inhaling Ylang Ylang can help release negative emotions, reducing stress and acting as a natural anxiety and depression remedy.
If you love chamomile tea, you will appreciate the calming effects of Chamomile. It promotes inner calm, reduces anxiety and calms the nervous system. It can also be used to reduce inflammation of the digestive tract, regulating mood and stress levels. For stress relief, combine chamomile essential oil with a carrier oil, and apply to the solar plexus and belly button.
Lemon Balm, also commonly known as Melissa, has been used for hundreds of years. it has been given the name “elixir of life”. Lemon balm calms the mind, boosts immunity and strengthens the nervous system. Add to a warm bath or massage directly on the skin to promote deep relaxation, reducing stress and anxiety.
Jasmine In China, Jasmine has been traditionally used to detox and clear the respiratory system. It acts as a natural sedative as well as having stimulating effects on the brain improving mood and energy levels. Apply directly to your wrists or neck to promote relaxation or add a few drops to a hot bath.
Basil has a calming effect on the nervous system, reducing anxiety, fatigue, mental strain and depression. Add a few drops to your diffuser and enjoy the soothing and relaxing aroma
Keeping a gratitude journal can be a huge boost for your wellbeing. It doesn’t have to be a written journal. Lots of people journal visually, by drawing daily gratitude sketches or taking photos of things they’re grateful for.
Put some time into your schedule as ‘gratitude time’. Try and write at the same time every day so you get into the habit of doing it.The great thing about keeping a gratitude journal is that it forces you to think about things you can be thankful for. These don’t even need to be big things!
Try to be more detailed in your gratitude journal than just, ‘I’m grateful for my bed’. Be specific about why you’re grateful for it. For example, ‘I’m grateful for my bed, because it’s a safe and comfortable place that I can relax and rest in each night’.
There are so many tools you can use to journal, whether it’s a cheap textbook or even on your phone using the Gratitude Journal app
We are all dreaming of the day when this pandemic crisis is behind us. Let yourself day dream about a future holiday, visits with your family and outings with your friends. We will never again take these things for granted. Make time for the positive things in life, and give them priority over the negative.
Daydream, write it in your journal, make a pinterest board or just talk about it?
We all know the benefits of exercise for our mind and body, but how do we keep fit and healthy covid-style? It’s all about adapting – because most of us are stuck safe at home (see what we did there?) get online and find a way to keep some routine movement in your life. Pinterest is fabulous for easy to follow work outs, squat challenges, you name it you’ll find it on Pinterest. Going for a walk, short run, an online yoga or pilates class is a great way to keep grounded and relieve your body from stress and anxiety.