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Be kind to yourself

Be kind to yourself

Through times of uncertainty and during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that we look after ourselves.

Self care tips

  • stay active and eat well 
  • keep a regular routine 
  • practice mindfulness - check out Smiling Minds
  • keep up your social connections, such as chatting with family, friends, mates or work colleagues every day 
  • do something you enjoy such as cooking, reading, or listening to music 
  • take a break from the news
  • learn something new.

Connection with people is how we maintain good social health. Through these times of uncertainty and social isolation, it is more important than ever that we stay connected with our family and friends. This could be a phone call, text, online chat or talking to a neighbour.  

While COVID-19 has limited physical distance, it hasn’t limited our ability to connect.  Get creative and try the following list and websites for inspiration. 

Doing some form of exercise is an easy and free way to boost both your mental and physical health, and now is the ideal time to mix things up and try a new activity. Getting outdoors to be active will help keep your mental health on track and give your body its daily dose of Vitamin D (important for strong bones, muscles and overall health). 

It is also important to maintain regular healthy habits during isolation:

  • eat healthy foods
  • do some regular exercise 
  • drink plenty of water
  • get plenty of sleep
  • quit smoking.

Ideas for keeping fit and active 

Eating well gives you more energy, helps you sleep better, improves your concentration and helps you keep a healthy headspace.

It's important in stressful times to keep your diet healthy and nutritious, as this allows you to cope with the changing environment of COVID-19. 

The current situation has caused increased anxiety in our community. Here are some useful ideas and resources to help with your mental wellbeing: 

  • Eat healthy and nutritious meals and use the internet to find new recipes.
  • Consider starting that project you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had time.
  • Stay in frequent touch with others. This could involve a phone call, text, online chat, talking to a neighbour (remember to maintain social distancing of 1.5m).
  • Get some fresh air when possible - go for a walk, do some gardening, have morning tea or lunch outside.
  • Keep regular sleep routines .
  • Make sure you ask for help from family, relatives, friends if you need it. 
  • Choose where you focus your attention ie tune into what’s good in your world.
  • Seek out the people and things that make you happy, helps keep you in a more positive frame of mind.
  • Keep daily routines going or create new ones if needed ie regular bed times, meal times, exercise and keep an open mind to doing things in new and different ways.
  • Focus on what matters and what you can control ie try not to focus on things you have no control over or can’t change.
  • Review your ‘media watch’ - ask yourself “Is this helping or harming me”. If it’s making you feel overwhelmed then take control and switch it off.
  • Find the right people to talk to - people that make you feel good and help you cope with your day.
  • Help yourself by helping others - being able to give is hugely important for life satisfaction.
  • Give your brain a ‘holiday’ from COVID-19 - cook, meditate, do a cross word, listen to music.
  • Take time to ‘wallow’ then move on - 1 minute wallow time is recommended then find something distracting to do.
  • Be kind to yourself and others - everyone is doing their best and a little kindness can go a long way.

From Real time Resilience Strategies for coping with Coronavirus 2020, New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience

Some useful resources

If you or someone you know needs assistance, you can seek support from: 

  • Beyond Blue, 1300 22 4636
  • 1800 Respect 24/7 national helpline, 1800 737 732
  • Lifeline 24/7 crisis line - 131 114
  • Mens Line Aust - 1300 78 99 78
  • Kids Helpline - How you can support your kids/teens
  • Head Space - 9801 6088 (Knox Centre) or eheadspace (9am to 1pm, 7 days)


Additional counselling and support is available for our LGBTIQ+ community through"

Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the moment. Practicing mindfulness can have numerous benefits, everything from decreased stress and sadness to increased levels of focus and happiness. Beyond Blue provides more information on how mindfulness can help during the COVID 19 outbreak from recognising warning signs, creating healthy brain brakes and healthy habits. 

The following websites offer tools or suggestions that you can use to help navigate this new “normal” and help you on your journey to mindfulness: 

The current pandemic has been especially challenging for people with disabilities, their families and carers. Social isolation is particularly difficult with many people in our community needing the assistance of a support worker. 

Disability Support Guide 

The Disability Support Guide has a collection of resources that explores the impact of COVID-19 on disability support and NDIS in Australia. 

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) 

The NDIS has a webpage with information and support specifically related to disability during COVID-19. It includes latest advice from NDIS, finding support workers, information for participants, priority home delivery services, and information on access and plan reviews. 

They also have short animations from NDIA for different situations such as finding support workers, when your current plan no longer meets your needs, and using your plan flexibly. 

National Disability Services

National Disability Services has information for people with disabilities during COVID-19 

Other useful resources

For carers 

With many offices physically closed and programs cancelled, there are still many supports available for carers:

  • Australian Carers 
  • Carers Victoria
  • Carer Gateway - a new Integrated Carer Support System that provides a range of services and supports delivered both in person and online. Any carer who is looking after someone with disability, a medical condition, mental illness or who is frail due to age can contact the Integrated Carer Support system on 1800 422 737 to access a wide range of help.
  • Online safety tips for parents and carers

For some people, home is not the safest place to be. Home isolation, financial stress, insecure housing and unemployment can contribute to a rise in family violence. If you don’t feel safe, here is a list of important numbers. Please reach out for help.

Specialist family violence services are open and available to support you or anyone worried about a family member, friend or colleague. 

 For immediate assistance call 000 

Help is available to alleviate some of the financial pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, including support for those who have lost their jobs:

Jobs Hub

Jobs Hub is an Australian Government initiative that offers connections for employers with multiple job opportunities to Australians looking for work. Go to Jobs Hub

Advice about housing

  • Opening Doors: 1800 825 955 (24 hours)
  • St Kilda Crisis Centre: Ph: 9536 7777 (24 hours)

It is important you look after your wellbeing when working from home. Here are some tips: 

  • Keep regular routines
  • Take regular breaks
  • Use your normal commute to work time as a chance to go for a walk. Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you get up just before you need to start work.
  • Use your lunch break to step away from the computer and get active, such as going outside, playing with the kids.

Working from home resources

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we encouraged community members to send in their stories of kindness, whether it was about others, yourself or local business. The purpose of sharing these stories was to allow community members to share some of their positive pandemic experiences with fellow community members. These messages were extremely powerful and brought a smile to some people’s faces on some of the loneliest days.

Thank you everyone who sent in a story. 

Looking after myself

I established a routine - bend/stretch exercises after breakfast, computer - checked emails/facebook/a couple of games, kept up household tasks, watched diet, arranged for delivery of groceries & scripts. A short walk most days. Have classic FM on most of the day.


The Trip that Wasn't

When Covid-19 was declared a Pandemic and travel restrictions were imposed I was gutted. I had a trip to the US and Eastern Canada planned for May which I postponed. However, in the lead up to the trip I decided to recoup what I could from a different angle. I started by making foods, some of them the stereotypical US foods, but I also tapped into the foods of other cultures that can be found in North America and had a shot at making a Native American recipe. I also checked out a number of virtual tours of my destinations (and beyond) to connect me with those places. While it wasn't quite as exciting as the real thing, it was a positive way of handling something that had the potential to get me down big time.


Life of a carer - Finally taking care of myself

As a carer, I have spent numerous years putting the person I care for, first. Frantically running them around to appointments, managing their daily activities, and all the little things in-between which build up and eventually lead to burning myself out.

Isolation has provided me with the time and the space to focus on myself. I have indulged in regular baths with my favourite candles burning, consuming myself in reading, and going on daily walks down to my local cafe - supporting them by buying my fave drink on their menu - a choc banana smoothie! I have put my mental health first and have given myself the time and space now to work with my psychologist on implementing strategies and supports I once deemed myself "too busy" and "not a priority" for.

Our family has commenced a Sunday ritual which is home made pizza and games. This provides routine, quality time and most importantly -FUN to our week.

My caring role can still be difficult, there are days that are still hard, but isolation has helped me bring calm to chaos.


Life under social isolation

Many positive things have come with changes to our normal busy lifestyle. We are in an older age bracket but have enjoyed staying active by exercising regularly at the Croydon Athletic track. We are keeping up with the family, friends and social groups via Zoom. Our family have been wonderful even though they have busy lives themselves with phone calls and dropping off shopping. We are avid readers so are enjoying time reading through the day. My husband loves cooking and has spent more time poring over cook books and experimenting with new recipes. Certainly a different lifestyle for us but quite relaxing.


Nothing gets in the way of book club!

It's nothing special, we are catching up by Zoom like everyone else in these weird COVID times, but our book club continues to meet and share stories - our own, our family's, our shared reading, our feelings about COVID life ... and much more. We have been meeting so long that none of us can really remember exactly when - but we think it is 12 years or so. Most of us live or work in Maroondah. We've seen babies and grandchildren born, watched our children grow up, go to uni and travel overseas, seen others find their life partners and we've all lost people very special to us in that time. But we love the 2nd Wednesday of each month when we can come together, have some bubbly, laugh, sometimes cry and just Be Kind to each other! We can't wait to give each other a very big hug when we get to meet in person again.


Veggies galore!!

With social isolation I've had lots of time to give a little TLC to my veggie patch. As a reward I have an abundance of tomatoes, zucchinis, chilli's, lemons and herbs. For the first time, I'm now trying to grow potatoes and squash and have greens growing on my windowsill.

Here are few agencies that are providing up-to-date information on supporting you and your family’s health and wellbeing. 

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