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Be kind to yourself

Be kind to yourself

Through these times of uncertainty and social isolation, it is more important than ever that we look after ourselves. Recent statistics show that social isolation has had an impact on mental health, with recent requests for mental health assistance in Australia increasing by as much as 40%. 

Be kind to yourself and take a few minutes every day for some self-care. Here are a few 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.

Share your kindness stories!

Tell us how you're being kind to yourself, and see what others have been doing, on Your Say Maroondah:

Share your kindness story

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)

LGBTIQ+

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

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

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

07/04/2020
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