These are incredibly challenging times, there is no denying that, so how do we make the best of what can be seen as an impossible situation? That is the challenge. We all have the capacity to choose the way we look at the world, for some it is absolutely harder to shift the perspective than it is for others. The more we focus on what is going wrong, what isn’t right and what it is I don’t like, the more it is we will do this, it becomes a habit. So we can develop a very negative mindset without realising it and this absolutely has an impact on our mental health and overall wellbeing. So what is it we can do? Shifting our perspective (albeit challenging), to a more realistic view of ourselves and the world in general is helpful. What we think about directly impacts on how we feel, so if we don’t particularly like the way we are feeling, there is something we all can do and that is changing what we think about. This doesn’t mean that the negative thoughts simply disappear, what it means is we learn to manage them better and don’t engage with them as we may have done previously. Whilst we live in a world that is presenting us all with challenges (some more so than others), there are things we can choose to focus on that bring some light into a seemingly dark world at times. Thoughts are simply thoughts, they are often not reflective of reality and on many occasions do not deserve our attention – don’t make friends with negative thoughts.
Maintaining some structure and routine is essential for those self isolating. We all need to feel our lives have some meaning and purpose so engaging in productive activities can be helpful. Mornings are often the best time to have some structure around the tasks you will undertake, getting up at the normal time (pre COVID) can be helpful and certainly going to bed at the same time is beneficial. Making time for individual pursuits, couple pursuits as well as family pursuits is essential. We all need time together (if we are self isolating as part of a group or family) as well as time alone. Be creative, there is so much information out there regarding activities one can engage in at home, people are being incredibly creative so draw out that creative inner self and go for it.
Monitoring health including mental health is essential and reaching out for support during these times is important. You can certainly call Lifeline 13 11 14, or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636, talk with your GP or reach out to one of the many Mental Health Professionals in the community if you notice any change within yourself or others that is concerning.