There has rarely been a more important time than the current COVID-19 pandemic for all of us to take some “me time” and keep an eye on our health and well-being.
There remains a lot of uncertainty about the nature of the disease, its scope and potential impact.
The emotional stress which comes from this affects everyone in the community, although in different ways. Those who have had to self-isolate, or enter a period of quarantine, will be impacted deeply. Those who are working also have concerns and fears.
The good news is that for most people the distress can be tolerated and can be improved with the care and support of families and the community. Others may require more professional support and specialised mental health support to stay on track, and it is OK to ask for help.
Staying mentally healthy and taking care of yourself and your family during infectious disease outbreak is important and can help you and your family manage emotional distress. There are many tips available at the State Government’s pandemic site, www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au, and I would encourage everyone to check it out.
The most important thing we can all do is to maintain basic hygiene such as:
- frequent handwashing
- covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
- washing your hands often with soap and water
- using alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
If you are sick, avoid contact with others and stay more than 1.5 metres away from people who are unwell, Call your GP or the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for further advice.
Other ways that can help you stay healthy and calm include:
- trying to maintain routine – as much as possible in these times
- talking to your family and friends about your worries and concerns
- engaging in enjoyable activities and hobbies
- limiting alcohol and other comfort foods
- using trusted media outlets to get the information you need.
If you or someone you know is finding it difficult to participate in normal daily activities, has lost hope or interest in the future, or is experiencing an overwhelming sense of sadness that is severe or long lasting, then contact your GP.
You can also access a range of telephone and online supports through:
- Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36
- Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
- Mens Line Australia: 1300 78 99 78
- Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
- Rural Alive and Well (RAW): 1300 4357 6283
CR ANNETTE ROCKLIFF