At the moment, more than 13 million Australians are in lockdown as the Covid Delta variant continues to spread.
That’s more than half of Australia’s population in lockdown as state borders slammed shut and schools closed.
And it’s not just Australia that’s struggling to contain the new Delta covid variant. Eighteen months after Covid first appeared, cases have hit an all-time high in many countries around the world as we see record infection numbers.
Imagine—eighteen months of it and no end in sight. We’re experiencing Covid fatigue; we’re sick of it and tired of having our plans and lives disrupted. It’s been going on for far too long. When is it going to end? When are things going to return to normal?
All of this is taking a heavy toll on us in several areas– including our mental health. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep across Australia and the world rapidly, it’s inducing a considerable degree of fear, worry and concern. We’re experiencing a lot of mental pressure.
Mental health problems are common. It’s time to invest in and care for our mental wellbeing. It’s time to be kind to our minds. Here are six quick and simple tips to reduce stress and promote wellbeing:
1. Pause. Breathe. Reflect.
Take some slow breaths: Breathe in through your nose, then slowly breathe out. Slow breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress because it signals to your brain to relax your body.
2. Connect with others.
Talking to people you trust can help. Keep in regular contact with people close to you. Tell them how you are feeling and share any concerns.
3. Keep to a healthy routine:
• Get up and go to bed at similar times every day.
• Keep up with personal hygiene.
• Eat healthy meals at regular times.
• Exercise regularly. Just do 3-4 minutes of light intensity physical movement, such as walking or stretching, will help. (is that enough time for walking?)
• Allocate time for working and time for resting.
• Make time for doing things you enjoy.
• Take regular breaks from on-screen activities.
• Don’t use alcohol and drugs to deal with fear, anxiety, boredom, and social isolation.
4. Be kind to yourself and others.
Don’t expect too much of yourself on difficult days. Accept that some days you may be more productive than others. Try to reduce how much you watch, read or listen to news that makes you feel anxious or distressed. Seek the latest information from trusted sources at specific times of the day. Helping others can be good for you too. If you can, offer support to people in your community who may need it.
5. Reach out for help if you need it.
Don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance if you think you need it. An excellent place to start is your local doctor or health worker. Helplines can also be a source of support.
6. Trust in God.
At times like this, it’s essential to trust in God. God knows everything we are going through at this moment and everything we will go through in the future. He knows the best way to handle every situation, so we get the best possible outcome, and we need to trust Him with that. We need to follow His path and trust that He knows best, because He does.
Here’s what the Bible says about trusting God in hard times.
• The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Ps 9:9,10)
• Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
• Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God, you have an everlasting rock. (Isaiah 26:3,4)
Isn’t that encouraging. It sure puts our minds at ease and gives us peace to know that God is with us and is watching over us.