The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting us all with multiple changes and challenges to our everyday lives. Social isolation, restrictions on the way we can connect with family, friends and work colleagues, fragile employment markets, threats to our health and a sense of uncertainty about the future can all accumulate into feelings of anxiety, helplessness and even grief.
These are very normal reactions to an abnormal and stressful situation. However managing these responses can be challenging and for people already living with a mental health issue they may find this a particularly difficult time.
Possible impacts on Mental Health:
- Feeling more anxious or distressed than usual
- Withdrawing from social and support networks
- Not sleeping as well, finding it hard to ‘switch off’
- Increase in alcohol and drug use
- Changes to employment and study practices
Looking after your own health and wellbeing:
Individual self-care strategies are things we can do for ourselves to help combat the negative, vulnerable feelings that can take over our thinking at times and can also work to give us a sense of control and power over our situation.
A few strategies to start with:
- Creating a daily routine is important and while this may be different to your usual, pre-COVID routine, having a plan to your day assists with motivation and also gives you the opportunity to make time for the things you enjoy. Incorporating a consistent exercise and bedtime routine in to this daily schedule can be helpful.
- Check in with your GP – they can be a really helpful person to keep in the loop with how you are travelling particularly if you feel you are struggling.
- Look after yourself with a healthy diet and keep an eye out for increased alcohol or drug use.
- Review your news and media intake. It is important to stay informed but filtering through the amount of COVID-19 news can be stressful so restrict your sources and set a time limit to what you are reading.
- Speak with your supports; family, friends, work colleagues. Maintaining our relationships is really important and for most of us, outside of our families, that day to day contact would usually be with our work colleagues. The way we engage with our teams may have altered but finding creative ways to stay connected is particularly helpful to battle that sense of isolation.
There may be a time where we recognise we need more support. Seeking this support and speaking with a professional counsellor, like a psychologist, is an important step.
Injurynet mental health support services
Speaking with a Psychologist can help in many ways. By providing a safe space to talk, psychologists can help you build strategies to support your mental health and work with you towards your goals. Injurynet offers support for employees struggling to cope and requiring medical, psychology and mental health services. We offer both face to face or telehealth appointments with our network doctors or network psychologists. Our 24/7 Nurse Triage phone services are also available to support employees who may be struggling and would benefit from help to know what to do next.