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Easing your mental health as restrictions ease. - 22/06/2020 :: 31/12/2020

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Eased restrictions might come with mixed feelings

Professor Vijaya Manicavasagar from the Black Dog Institute, a mental health research institute, acknowledges many of us might be having mixed feelings.  

“Even though many of us have spent weeks dreaming about the day that things go back to into the real world might not be all smooth sailing,”

SANE Australia, a national mental health charity, shared the same sentiment: “Yes, the chance to finally see a close friend might fill us with joy – of course it does! But the thought of venturing out into the world again? That can feel scary!”. 

Three tips from mental health experts as restrictions ease

Tip one: Try and ease back into things and take time to reflect

They focus on taking things slowly, rebuilding relationships, and allowing yourself to reflect on any positive changes you want to make after your experience during coronavirus restrictions. 

The key thing to note is to give yourself the time and space to get used to things again. 


Tip two: maintain the positive habits you started at home 

At the onset of the coronavirus many of us prioritised looking after our mental health and wellbeing at home.  

If you took steps to support your mental health and wellbeingeat healthy food and exercise during coronavirus restrictions, try and keep it up so these positive habits can help to keep you feeling healthy and well. 

Tip three: use strategies to manage feelings of stress or anxiety

If you find yourself experiencing stress or anxiety, the experts tend to agree on some tried and tested strategies that can help you as restrictions ease.  

It helps to: 

1. Share/talk/connect with others 

Interacting with others can help us get out of our head and boost our mood. RUOK is an organisation that helps to inspire and empower people to meaningfully connect, and they have some conversation starters to help you talk and connect with others

2. Focus on the present moment/practise mindfulness 

Focussing on the details of the present moment – known as practising mindfulness – can help you manage feelings of stress and anxiety. 

3. Exercise, eat healthy food and reduce harm from alcohol and tobacco 

The Australian Psychological Society lists avoiding alcohol and tobacco as one of the main strategies for managing anxiety. The Australian Drug and Alcohol Foundation website has information to help reduce harm from alcohol during coronavirus.  

4. Seek professional help when you need to 

Seeking professional support is a great way to address anxiety when it interferes with your daily life. 

Remember, as restrictions ease, the experts agree that it might not all be smooth sailing. Try and remember these three tips to support yourself during the transition: 

  1. Tip one: try and ease back into things and take time to reflect 
  2. Tip two: maintain the positive habits you started at home 
  3. Tip three: use strategies to manage feelings of stress or anxiety 


Have a coronavirus question? 

For all coronavirus questions visit call the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) hotline on 1800 020 080. 

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