The impacts of the Delta variant coronavirus outbreak, physical distancing and Greater Sydney lock-down measures can leave us feeling anxious, stressed, and worried. While we are in isolation and possibly experiencing these feelings, it is important that we consider how we best can look after our health and mental wellbeing.
Read on for some tips on what you can do to help look after your wellbeing, and for those around you during lockdown, as we tackle these challenging times together.
WHY ITS IMPORTANT TO LOOK AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH DURING LOCK DOWN
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly changed the way we live. The last few weeks have been tumultuous for us, and in keeping with health guidelines, it is likely that our lives will be different for a little while yet to come.
When we aren’t able to see our friends and family regularly, it can be harder to keep on top of how we’re feeling. Being aware of how you’re feeling and knowing what you can do to look after your mental wellbeing is an important part of staying healthy during this challenging time. Something we will be working on during this time, is using it as a catalyst for establishing some new, healthier habits and working on establishing a positive frame of mind.
HERE’S HOW YOU MIGHT BE FEELING AND WHY
On top of the concerns we’re all feeling about the health impacts of a virus like this one, coronavirus has turned our lives upside down in some way or another. All of the things we’re used to doing each week – going to work/school, catching up with friends and family, playing sport, training together at Rev X, going out for dinner, on holidays etc, have mostly all ceased or at the very least, have changed drastically.
Many people have lost their jobs, been placed on a temporary stand-down or are without current work, may be taking on home-schooling responsibilities etc. Whilst we may not all be in the same exact boat; we are all weathering the same storm and there is much uncertainty about how this latest outbreak and lock down will affect jobs and the economy into the future.
For people working in health care and essential services, work pressures have never been greater. For business owners and employees in non-essential services, the stressors have never been greater either.
Under these circumstances, it is of course normal to feel anxious, overwhelmed, confused, even sad or bored. All of these feelings can take their toll, and we all need to take the time to care for ourselves and to look out for our friends, our family and our community.
SO, HERES WHAT YOU CAN DO
There are many things you can do that help contribute to taking care of your mental health and well-being.
1. Look after your PHYSICAL HEALTH
Exercising and eating well helps us stay physically and mentally healthy. Regular exercise helps us reduce the risk of health conditions, assists us in controlling our weight and body composition, reduces stress and anxiety, and helps us improve our sleep patterns.
Whilst we are currently restricted by physical distancing measures and we can’t go to the gym, visit public pools, play organized sports, attend classes, or exercise in a group (anymore), there are still PLENTY of ways that we can be active.
You can still exercise in some public spaces, or from your home. You can still participate in our online zoom classes, which are fully coached, and (we promise) WILL challenge you. You can participate with, or without equipment, and in the space you have available to you.
You can also incorporate activities into your day to improve your physical activity, like going for a walk, jog, riding a bike / scooter or even kicking a ball at the oval with your family. It could be as simple as going up and down the stairs or having an individual dance party in the living room. In any case, you will find plenty of inspiration following us and our coaches on our social media channels, and in our Rev X Members Page (you guys are awesome at supporting each other- its’ what makes our gym so special).
While it’s important to keep active on most days (or if you’re like us and want to keep active every day), it can be hard to stay motivated at the moment.
Some things that can help you keep on track include:
- Trusting in your coaches and the programming they are writing for our at-home workouts. If you haven’t already, give zoom training a try!
- Finding things that you enjoy doing… and doing them
- Setting achievable goals – don’t forget our coaches can help with that too
- Monitor your activity and progress
- Get the support of your friends, family and we can’t say it enough… the entire Rev X Community – here
Remember, every time you exercise you release endorphins which give you that post exercise ‘buzz’. At times like these, it’s important to utilize exercise as a means to help relieve stress, lift your mood and keep you moving towards your goal/s.
2. Stay CONNECTED
Maintaining social connections is important to feeling safe and well.
You can still keep in touch with family and friends, while practicing social distancing through:
- Video Calls/Chats
- Phone Calls
- Online Groups, including the private members group Facebook page
3. Maintaining ROUTINE
We touched on this lightly already, but we’re used to having routines to guide our days and give us a sense of achievement. When so much seems out of our control, establishing or maintaining some structure in our days helps to provide stability and an albeit a new, sense of ‘normal’.
We recognize establishing a new routine can certainly come with its challenges. Particularly for families adjusting to home learning. It’s important to try and create new routines that help to separate ‘work / school time’ and ‘family time’.
We encourage you to think about the parts of your usual routine you value the most and find ways to make these part of your day – such as maintaining a set wake-up / bed time, still exercising at your regular session time (and via our zoom online classes), or having lunch with colleagues via video chat etc.
To simplify keeping up with your regular daily routines, consider:
- Getting up and going to bed at similar times everyday
- Keep up with personal hygiene. And of course, keep washing those hands!
- Eat healthy meals, at regular times. Need some help with meal time? Maverick Meals is still operating for meal prep services and safe pick-up.
- Exercise regularly !!!
- Allocate time for working (including school time for the kids) and time for resting/play
- Make time for doing things you / the family enjoy.
4. TAKE BREAKS
Be kind to yourself. Take time just for you, even if it is just a few minutes to take some deep breaths and step outside into the fresh air.
If you plan breaks, you can utilize them to do something that makes you feel calm and happy, and/or to work on something you’ve always wanted to incorporate into your regular routine but never really prioritized. Meditation, stretching and mobility are all great examples of positive things you can do for yourself and to improve mental well-being during this time.
Try to reduce how much you watch, read or listen to news that makes you feel anxious or distressed. Take a break and minimize the newsfeed for a little while. You can always seek the latest information at specific times or the day, once or twice if needed.
This one should go without saying, but limit the amount of alcohol you drink or alike those on Level Up, don’t drink alcohol at all. Avoid alcohol and drugs as a way of dealing with fear, anxiety, boredom or social isolation.
Some occupations (and forms of home-schooling) may require an extended period of use in front of a screen every day. Try to be aware of how much time you spend in on-screen activities and try to take regular breaks. This goes for using social media and video/online games as a form of relaxation too. It can be tempting to spend much more time on them than usual when at home for long periods of time. Try to be sure to keep a positive balance with your off-line activities in your daily routine, and use your social media accounts to promote/follow positive stories.
Don’t forget to look at ergonomic ways to work from home where possible, and use regular breaks to stretch and keep mobile where possible. If you need some advice on postural exercises reach out to our coaches – they are full of wonderful expertise and advice on how to strengthen and maintain our muscle chains for good, safe movement!
5. REACH OUT TO OTHERS
Some people are particularly vulnerable for different reasons. They may live on their own, have a chronic medical condition, or be living in a challenging home or financial situation.
Community is one of the backbones that makes us (Rev X) who we are. We value our environment of support, encouragement, compassion and positivity and we want to carry forward this community spirit in everything we do. Including training from home or just simply checking up on each other.
Reaching out to one another to give people support, if you are able to, can also help your own mental wellbeing and make a big difference in someone else’s life.
Likewise, it is just as important to seek support if you are feeling down, overwhelmed or in need of it.
6. SEEK SUPPORT
It’s normal to have ups and downs, and it is important to talk about how you’re feeling with family, friends and trusted members of your community. In times like these, your support network are likely experiencing similar feelings.
If you want to talk to someone else, but aren’t sure where to start, there are lots of great online phone chat and support services available. Head to Health is a good place to begin, and Beyond Blue have launched a dedicated coronavirus online and phone support service.
Until then, let’s keep checking in with each other, looking after ourselves and seeing each other through our screens.
While we are on the topic of mental health and wellbeing during these times, it’s important we talk about normalizing the need to seek help. Without judgement or fear of other peoples’ opinions. Your health and wellbeing is what is most important to us. Please, if you are experiencing feelings of anxiousness or depression for an extended period of time, seek help from a health professional.
Doctors and other health care providers such as psychologists are continuing to consult via phone or video. You can find out more about telehealth options here.
*Importantly, if you need to seek support now for your mental well-being, please do so: HERE’S HOW TO GET HELP NOW.
If you, or anyone else you know, needs help right now, it is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere in AUS.
Whilst we hope you won’t need it, we want you to know that the following services are available to you:
- EMERGENCY SERVICES: In an emergency, call 000.
- LIFELINE: Contact Lifeline for support if you are experiencing a personal crisis or have suicidal thoughts. You can call them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in Australia. Lifeline 24-hour crisis line: 131 114
Did you know that if you text 0477 13 11 14 between 6pm – midnight AEST when you are feeling really depressed, suicidal or in need of support, a Lifeline crisis supporter will text with you?
Many people don’t like talking on the phone and would be more comfortable texting. Lifeline Text is another service available to you from Lifeline.
- BEYOND BLUE: Beyond Blue are providing information, advice and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond Blue Hotline: 1800 512 348
- TRANSLATING AND INTERPRETING SERVICE (TIS National): TIS National is for people who do not speak English. TIS: 131 450
- KIDS HELPLINE: Kids Helpine provides a free, private and confidential phone and online counselling service for young people aged 2 to 25. The service is available 24 hours a day from anywhere in Aus. Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
- SUICIDE CALL BACK SERVICE: Call the Suicide Call Back Service for immediate, professional 24/7 telephone and online counselling to people who are affected by suicide. Suicide Call back service: 1300 659 467