For most of us our daily routines have changed significantly during COVID-19 lockdown.
Restrictions have been put in place to protect our physical health, but it’s important that we look after our mental health too.
Here are 21 low-effort things you can do to improve your day today.
- Put some effort into having a good night’s rest. Make your bed – it’s like a little hug from your morning self to your evening self. On cool evenings, put a hot water bottle or a wheat bag in your bed 10 minutes before you get in. On warm evenings, make sure you have just the right amount of coverings and you’ve dealt with any mosquitoes.
- Drink some water. Make it a treat by filling a jug and adding some ice, cucumber, mint or a squeeze of citrus.
- Plan to cook and eat outside in the evening, or take your meal outside for a picnic.
- Meditate – spend five minutes sitting comfortably in a quiet space. Concentrate on your breath moving in and out. Feel your ribs expand and relax.
- Set aside time for a lunch break, and take it. Eat mindfully – allow yourself to eat slowly and notice the smell, taste, colour and texture of your food.
- Move your body – stretch with some yoga or Pilates. Find a workout online. Go for a walk, run, skate or bike ride. Dance. Skip.
- Stay connected – send a text, give someone a ring.
- Make and eat a fresh crunchy salad – it will nourish your body and feel invigorating.
- Get some vitamin D – do some gardening or walk around the block on a sunny day. (Check the UV index before you go out. From September to April in Victoria we need to be SunSmart.)
- Write a kind comment on social media.
- Rub some coconut oil on your elbows – it will moisturise dry skin and you’ll smell like a beach holiday (or a freshly baked ANZAC biscuit).
- Do a little bit of nothing. Allow yourself a few minutes to listen to the wind, the rain, birdsong. Play some music. Have a cup of tea and watch the curls of steam rise from your cup.
- Subscribe to or bookmark a positive news service so that you receive some good news regularly. Share the stories with others you think will enjoy them.
- Do something kind for someone else – compliment someone on social media or send a care package to someone who may be isolated.
- If you’re working at a desk, get up every 30 minutes or so: stretch, fetch a glass of water, empty the dishwasher, play with the dog.
- Learn something new. Try a new recipe or search YouTube for a quick tutorial on that thing you always wanted to know how to do.
- Put out some water for the birds – if you put it near a window you can watch them when they visit.
- Look at a picture of a cute animal. Try a fluffy sea otter or a friendly dog.
- Remind yourself that this is all temporary and it will pass, but if you feel sad, that’s okay.
- Cut yourself some slack. You’re doing everything you can, and that’s enough.
- Reach out for support if you need it. You can call the Beyond Blue Mental Wellbeing Support Service at any time on 1800 512 348 if you’re feeling worried or struggling to cope in isolation.
More on finding support
Please remember that help is always available. If you’re feeling a little low, calling a friend or family member can be a great way to talk through how you are feeling.
If you have been feeling down most of the time for more than two weeks and are struggling to find any enjoyment in your day-to-day activities, you may be experiencing depression, and it’s important to access professional support.
Talk to your GP or contact a support service such as:
If you are in crisis and are having difficulty coping or staying safe, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about someone else, please call the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.
If you are at immediate risk of injury or harm, call 000.
You can find more information about support services and other mental health resources on the Department of Health and Human Services Mental health resources – Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.
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