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Tips for prioritising mental health

When a difficult time hits, it becomes more important than ever to look after your mental health.

Whether it’s a widespread crisis or a more localised situation that’s difficult or stressful, this is the time to take extra care.

Here are some ideas for staying on top of your mental health during a challenging time.

Go back to basics

One of the best things to do during a tough time is to go back to the basics of looking after yourself.

That means eating well, doing some exercise and getting as much rest as you can manage, as well as keeping on top of your work and family life.

If life is really busy at the moment, the tiny snatches of time that you take to move your body and plan a healthy meal can make a big difference to your wellbeing.

Reach out to others

Now is the time to put your hand up to say you could do with some support.

You don’t have to wait until you’re struggling to cope. If you just need to talk it through, or need some practical ideas for getting through a tough time, it’s a good idea to chat with someone. That could be chatting with a colleague, friend or family member, accessing a formal peer support program at work, connecting with a community group like Fortem, or speaking with a mental health professional.

Switch off

It’s important to stay informed on the current situation – but there’s a limit to it.

Reading or watching too much about a crisis can increase your feelings of overwhelm and stress. It’s a good idea to find your own boundaries. Switching off from the news and social media gives you the head space to think of other things and look after yourself.

What are you looking forward to?

We’re currently going through a global pandemic and, while it feels like an ongoing situation, there will be an end to the stress.

Give some thought to what you’re looking forward to when things settle down. Whether it’s family time, a road trip or going out with friends – or a whole lot of things – this can remind you that life will get back to normal.

If you need assistance, call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.