Coping with stress and uncertainty

Mar 30, 2020

sea-sunset

Feelings of worry and unease can be expected during this time due to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, however it is important that we learn to manage our stress and stay calm.

It is essential that we take steps such as practicing good hygiene and physical distancing as simple steps to take care of ourselves, family, friends, community and to stay healthy.

There are some easy things we can do to help manage stress, to stay positive and on track:

  • Maintain your regular daily routine as much as you can.

    We all have daily routines such as what time we get up each day, brush our teeth, have mealtimes and carry out our daily activities. Major events can create changes in routines, particularly if we can’t do some of our usual activities. Routines support our emotional wellbeing and assist us to get organised and provide a sense of achievement and accomplishment. 

  • Staying connected and engaged with others.

    Having connections with others and staying engaged with people and activities that are meaningful is good for mental wellbeing and helps to reduce stress. Modifying how you stay connected is essential during this COVID-19 event and you may have to use Face-Time, Skype and Online forums.

  • Regular exercise and Eating healthy.

    Nutritious food and an active lifestyle supports good health and wellbeing.  What we eat and drink affects our stress and energy levels. Try to drink plenty of water and enjoy a variety of nutritious foods each day.  If possible, try to be active and get some fresh air.

  • Having a good nights’ sleep.

    Sleep is essential for general wellbeing. Along with good nutrition and exercise, sleep is recognised as one of the pillars of good health. Research suggests that adolescents and young adults need at least 7-9hours sleep each night, and adults need between 7.5 – 8 hours each night.

  • Doing things that you enjoy and are good for you.

    Make a plan for fun and enjoyable things to look forward to. We may need to modify where and how we do some of these things that we enjoy, however planning for relaxation, fun and pleasure is another strategy to look after your mental health and wellbeing.

  • Limit your exposure to the news and “shut down the noise”.

    Stress can be infectious and often unhelpful. Give yourself permission to ‘switch off the noise’ such as social media, news and time away from people who are creating stress. Keep checking in to reliable news sources once or twice a day, but otherwise, turn down the noise as much as you can. You can replace it with things you enjoy and find relaxing.

  • Using Positive Self-talk.

    Your feelings and emotions are influenced by what you say and think to yourself. How we think about a situation affects how we feel. How we feel depends on what we think of a situation – not on the situation. Give yourself reassuring statement such as “it will be ok”, “we’ll get through this”. Think about what you would say to a friend in the same situation. Challenging unhelpful thoughts can assist with keeping things in perspective.

  • Asking for help and support when you need it.

Connect with supports such as your Doctor, Telephone and Online Counselling services if needed.

Resources:

The Desk is available to all enrolled TAFE SA students to support you with your wellbeing and resilience.  There are activities, tools, quizzes and resources to develop and support problem-solving and self-management skills related to Getting Things Done, Staying Calm, Staying Connected, and Feeling Good.  Use your TAFE SA student email address to access The Desk.

The YouTube video Staying on Track provides helpful tips on building resilience

Want more information or to chat further? Student Services are available Monday to Friday from 8.30am and 5.00pm. Please ring 1800 882 661 to make a telephone or Skype appointment.

  • South Australian COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line - 1800 632 753
  • Australian Government Coronavirus Health Information Line - 1800 020 080