There's a lot of uncertainty around Australia at the moment, actually, make that the world. With the coronavirus affecting the daily life of most people around the world, it can be hard to take some time out and process it all.
Fortunately, there are plenty of free resources and organisations that are here to help. And, what's more, they're just a phone call away should you need someone to talk it out with. Find them below:
- Beyond Blue has a number of options relating to your mental wellbeing and crisis support. You can reach them via 1800 512 348 or live chat.
- Lifeline provides 24-hour crisis counselling. Reach them on 13 11 14.
- The National Coronavirus Helpline is open 24-hours a day on 1800 020 080, and can help you with anything related to Coronavirus.
- The Samaritans offer an anonymous support line to talk through issues big or small. You can reach them on 135 247.
- PANDA specialises in support for new and expecting parents, and can provide advice and assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reach them on 1300 306 726.
- 1800 RESPECT is a free counselling service for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. You can call 24-hours a day on 1800 737 732.
- QLife is a support line for the LGBTQIA+ community. You can reach them via webchat and 1800 184 527.
- MensLine provides support to Australian men across the country. Call them on 1300 789 978.
- Reach Out offers support to those under 25 years of age. Reach them here.
There are other ways to stay calm during this period, too. Here are several tips courtesy of Manoj Dias, founder of A-Space. If there's one person who knows about helping you reconnect with yourself, it's him.
Here are some tips he has provided to help you get through the uncertainty.
1. Get Into Your body
Our bodies feel the brunt of our mental health long before the symptoms of stress and anxiety reach our minds. A good way to work through difficult emotions in our head is to get to work in our body. Yoga, dancing, brisk walking, star jumps, whatever makes you feel embodied can help us when we’ve been spending most of our days disconnected from it.
2. Calm Your Mind
Most people aren’t used to spending this much time by themselves or locked up at home. after physical exertion, it’s a good idea to try calming the mind. You can read books, rep-pot your plants or start a meditation practice.
There are thousands of meditations available on Youtube and free apps like Insight Timer, that you can use. Meditation has proven to be incredible at regulating our nervous systems and calming the adrenaline and cortisol many of us are feeling right now. Start with five minutes a day, every day and gradually work your way up. I suggest a meditation called loving kindness meditation.
3. Reach Out To A Friend
When we’re fearful and scared we tend to want to retreat—especially when we’re told to isolate. But we’re social beings and we should think of this time as psychical distancing not social distancing. You can reach out to your friends and have a virtual dinner party, a digital dance party or you can simply check up on your friends with a phone call. Being in contact with others is crucial if we want to stay sane and human.
4. Limit The Amount Of Time You Spend On The Internet (For Real)
It’s a wild time to be on the internet right now. We’re bombarded by multiple news sources, fearful memes and Lizzo giving us guided meditations. With isolation rapily spreading, perhaps for the first time ever, many are finding solace in the internet.
But too much of a good thing is never a good idea, especially with the stress-inducing messages we’re receiving. Limit the amount of time you’re online, notice how you’re body is feeling as you read messages and please don’t check your phone before you go to sleep, unless you plan on feeling tired the next day
5. Help Someone Else
We’re seeing people all over the world offer their gifts to help others, whether it’s health care workers on the front lines, people working at food banks or yoga and meditation teachers offering free online classes.
Helping others is not only great for humanity but research shows it’s also great for our own mental health and wellbeing. Altruism in a time of need also gives us a sense of purpose and intention and with many people having a hard time right now, our society needs you.
Through mindfulness & meditation, Manoj has helped thousands of people around the world trade mania for pause, so that they may live a happier and more meaningful life. As the founder of A—SPACE, Australia’s first drop-in meditation studio, he walks this truth en-masse with a family of one heart. Whether he’s teaching through words or the silence in between them, Manoj’s great love for Buddhist wisdom and contemporary science is present in every encounter.
Keep an eye on which Melbourne events have been postponed here.
Image credit: Andre Benz