1. Maintain perspective and a positive state of mind
- Instead of telling yourself ‘I am stuck at home’, remind yourself ‘I am safe at home’.
- Remember that many experts are working hard to contain the virus, treat those affected and develop a vaccine as quickly as possible. By staying home – you are helping too.
- Think about the things you can and can’t control and try not to worry about the things outside of your control. Examples of things you can control or do something about are:
- telling your teacher that you don’t understand the work,
- checking in with your friends so they are not lonely and what you will eat for lunch.
You can’t control that your neighbour has had lots of visitors or that the supermarket has run out of toilet paper.
2. Limit your exposure to media coverage
- Information about COVID-19 is everywhere, yet constant exposure to negative information can heighten feelings of anxiety.
- Try to make conversation about other things.
- Listen to music or audio books, instead of always having the news on.
- Limit the amount of time you spend scrolling through social media.
- Ensure that the information you do access is good quality. The Australian government website is a good source: https://www.australia.gov.au/ and they have also launched a WhatsApp Group for this purpose (send any message to +61 400 253 787 to get started).
- The MRC FAQs site has school related information including: Communication for Students
3. Maintain a healthy routine
- It is important to try and maintain a routine during term time and holidays.
- This includes sleep: a regular bed/wake time and reducing your screen use before bed.
- Eating regular and healthy meals.
- Getting outside and doing some form of physical activity every day.
- Implement daily mindfulness activities.
- Reducing your distractions and setting up a space where you can do your schoolwork.
4. Stay connected with friends and family
- When you are not seeing your friends or even people outside your immediate family every day it is easy to feel lonely. We are lucky to have technology to stay in touch eg. email, text, facetime, phone calls, social media or Tik Tok.
- Think of other creative ways to use this time eg. an online book club, playing a game together or watching the same movie.
- Consider how you can help others (eg. parents or grandparents) to use this technology.
- It is also important to have some limits on social media and regular down time eg. while doing schoolwork, or family activities.
5. Use this time as an opportunity to focus on you
- Is there anything you have ever wanted to try or to learn? eg. Paint your room, learn the guitar, learn French, make your own pizza dough, make a vegetable garden, learn to knit. Now is the perfect time. Make a list of all these things and start ticking them off.
- You might be able to do some of these things with your friends or family.
6. Be kind to yourself and others
- Notice how you speak to yourself. Would you speak to a friend like that? Try to be kind and give yourself a break. We are all adjusting and learning to this new way of being.
- Remember to be thoughtful about what you share and say on social media.
- Use this as an opportunity to spread kindness. Not only will this bring a smile to the other person, but research shows doing acts of kindness also improves your mood.
- Consider doing a ‘Corona Kringle’ with your friends. Where everyone is randomly allocated a name and has to do something kind for that person eg. leave a meal at their house, write them a letter, make them a play list or drop off flowers.
- Consider ways you can spread kindness further by doing something for a neighbour, a classmate that you know is not well connected, or a complete stranger.
7. Seek more support
- Remember that you are not alone. Every single person has been impacted by COVID-19 in some way and it’s ok if you are not coping.
- Remember that it is normal to feel overwhelmed or stressed by news of the outbreak.
- Try to find someone you trust and share your concerns or feelings with them. Having someone to just listen and acknowledge our feelings is useful.
- If you need more support don’t be afraid to ask and contact a professional.