Feelings of anxiety, distress, and concern are commonplace for many people at this current point in time. Many have been experiencing heightened stress because of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and it’s financial and logistical implications, however now we are seeing the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine as well as catastrophic flooding in Northern NSW and parts of QLD. It is normal to feel overwhelmed and helpless at times like this, whether the events are directly or indirectly affecting you or you are watching from the sidelines.
Acacia EAP has put together this helpful resource about managing your mental health when times are difficult.
Try to Maintain Perspective
While it is reasonable for people to be concerned about the outbreak, in regard to COVID-19 try to remember medical, scientific, and public health experts around the world are working hard to contain the virus, treat those affected.
With other things going on, focus on what you can do to help and let go of what is out of you control, for example you may be able to donate to fundraisers or help in other ways.
Find a Healthy Balance of Media Coverage
Being exposed to large volumes of negative information can heighten feelings of anxiety. While it’s important to stay informed, you may find it useful to limit your media intake if it is upsetting you or your family. Take some time off social media or turn off the endless news cycle if it is having a negative impact on your mental wellbeing.
Access Good Quality Information
It’s important to get accurate information from credible sources. This will also help you maintain perspective and feel more in control. Some credible websites include:
- World Health Organisation
- Australian Government: coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert
Symptoms of Stress
Look out for possible symptoms of stress in yourself.
Symptoms may include
- Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
- Obsessive thinking about stressors and their potential impact
- Constant fear and worry about the health of loved ones
- Difficulty concentrating
- Withdrawal from events or activities that usually make you happy
- Increased use of alcohol or other drugs.
Taking Care of Yourself
Look after yourself physically by exercising regularly and eating a well-balanced diet. Ensure you are practicing good sleep hygiene to receive the sleep your body needs. Unwind by doing an activity that you enjoy. It’s important to remain socially connected to those close to you and maintain regular routines, where possible.
Support is Available
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the news surrounding COVID-19 or other stressful local and global events, particularly if you have experienced mental health issues before. Acknowledge any feelings of distress, worry, or concern, and seek professional support if required.
This is another article in our new WWNSW Wellbeing Series – we are aiming to share articles, resources and tips weekly with advice from our EAP program to manage stress and promote wellbeing in and out of the workplace.