With stage 4 lockdown in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire and stage 3 lockdown for the rest of Victoria, your anxiety and stress levels are probably high. Unlike lockdown version 1.0, this time there are many more COVID-19 cases and the death tolls are a lot higher. As you adjust to the new stay at home order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, you may find that your mental wellbeing is being affected as you try to process your emotions.
The types of emotions you may feel include:
- Anger and frustration that you’re in lockdown again
- Fear and worry about your health and the health of your family
- Anxiety about your job, financial situation or the loss of support services you depend on
- Difficulty sleeping or focusing on what needs to be done
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Worsening of your mental health and/or chronic health conditions
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other substances
During this second lockdown, showing compassion and kindness to yourself and others can help. Feeling afraid and worried is a normal reaction that many others in Victoria and in your local area are experiencing as well. If the feelings of anxiety become overwhelming, you’re never alone. We can help you or a family member who may be experiencing emotional upheaval during COVID-19, contact us here.
Simple ways you can practice kindness to yourself include:
- Practicing mindfulness. By learning how to place your attention in the present rather than the future, your symptoms of anxiety and depression can be reduced.
- Actively managing your wellbeing with daily routines that include regular exercise, healthy eating and getting good quality sleep.
Reaching out to others in your community is as simple as:
- Interacting on the local community Facebook page and seeing if anybody needs help.
- Baking cupcakes or making a batch of soup to deliver to your neighbour.
- Asking elderly neighbours if they need anything at the supermarket or chemist.
- Making regular phone calls or video calls to your friends and family.
Focus on what you can control
Staying informed about COVID-19 is important, but if the information you’re constantly hearing is making your feel even more anxious, it’s a good idea to manage your media and social media exposure. By following credible sources that you trust including the Australian Government Department of Health and the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services you can stay away from the opinions and noise that are sometimes not relevant.
It’s important to tune out of the COVID-19 news cycle and focus in on what is actually in your world. That means, ask yourself how can you make your life as comfortable and as stimulating as possible within your own home. Whether you’re working or not, create some sort of structure for your day to day life which includes exercise, enjoyable activities, and social time (online or over phone).
Keep things in perspective
During any situation like COVID-19, it’s natural to start having “what if?” questions that can fuel your anxiety, especially if you don’t have any information to answer these questions. For a more useful approach, ask yourself questions that can shift your thinking to a more helpful mindset. These questions could include:
- What are the things that I can control?
- Am I miscalculating the possibility of the worst-case scenario?
- What strategies have I used in other challenging situations that have served me well?
- What is one small positive or helpful action I can take now?
Telehealth or face to face sessions with a psychologist at Cova Psychology can help you manage your emotions during COVID-19. Contact us to book a Psychologist Melbourne. Our Melbourne Psychologists offer a wide range of evidence based therapies including EMDR Therapy Melbourne.