Self care Balancing your emotions during unstable times April 08 2020
Nicole Vanderkroef Nicole Vanderkroef Health content specialist

When life changes quickly and dramatically your mental health may suffer. We share some tips that may help you to balance your emotions in difficult times.

As COVID-19 continues to evolve in Australia, most of us are feeling its impact on our daily lives.

You might be:

  • struggling to get your shopping done in over-busy supermarkets
  • juggling work or study at home
  • worrying about keeping personal finances stable in these volatile times, or
  • becoming more distracted and fixated on the news and social media than usual.

All these factors can have an impact on your mental health.

Living with uncertainty and changing everyday habits in a short space of time can be stressful for many of us.

Balancing your emotions

If you’re finding the current situation stressful there are a few simple things you can do at home that may help.

1. Connect with people

Check in with loved ones and friends and ask them how they are holding up. Offering your support can help maintain a sense of community, which is essential for combatting feelings of loneliness and helplessness. (Keep in mind the latest government COVID-19 regulations on how you can connect with people.)

2. Limit your media intake

Don’t get sucked into the 24/7 news cycle – instead try to stay in the moment, making the most of spending time with family or friends.


woman planting herbs

3. Open up to new experiences

Just because there are limitations on what you can do in the outside world, it doesn’t mean all new experiences are off limits.You can still develop a green thumb in the backyard, learn yoga online or teach yourself a new board game. Shifting your focus from negative messages to doing something positive could benefit your sense of wellbeing.

4. Practice good mind and body hygiene

The constant focus on handwashing or sanitising can beoverwhelming for some people.You can make a positive out of the situation by taking the time to think of something you appreciate in your life each time you clean your hands. Some parents are even making-up fun songs to sing with their kids during hand-washing time.

5. Don’t let things spiral

A small amount of stress is normal, but when negative thoughts and worry start to interfere with your ability to function, it’s important to act and seek help.

Your GP is usually a good place to start, but services like Lifeline (13 11 14) and Beyond Blue  (1300 22 4636) can provide urgent support if needed in Australia. If you’re in New Zealand, you can reach out to Healthline (0800 358 5453) or Depression Helpline (0800 111 757) for help.

It’s completely normal to feel anxious at this time, but by practising kindness and self-care you give yourself the best chance of making it through with a healthy mind and body.  

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Nicole Vanderkroef Nicole Vanderkroef Health content specialist Nicole started her career as a chemist, but traded the lab for a laptop and has been a medical and health journalist ever since.