As we have seen in Melbourne, there have been a rise of new COVID-19 cases.

Anyone who has been to any of the current hot spots or has been in contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 must self-isolate. Even if you are tested and it comes up negative, the Government still wants you to self-isolate for 14 days in case the virus begins to show.

If you are currently self-isolating here a few ways to stay mentally healthy.

*For all Coronavirus related questions call the National Coronavirus Helpline at 1800 020 080. This line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Maintain a routine
Having some kind of daily plan, even if it is small, can help you feel like you feel a sense of control and satisfaction. Try to set an alarm if you know you oversleep, and force yourself to get up and do something. Getting out of bed will help you avoid falling into a slump.

Learn a new skill
The good news is that this virus has forced everything online. This means that you have the world’s knowledge right at your fingertips. There are literally hundreds and thousands of things to learn, whether a short course on Udemy or a longer term course through The University of Sydney.

Virtually Socialise
Self-isolation is not a prison sentence (although it may sometimes feel that way). Stay in touch with friends. Call people and set up virtual hangouts. You are not alone.

Get lost in a book
Find a good story and immerse yourself in it fully! Books are one of the most healthiest forms of escapism. It will keep your mind active, your eyes away from a screen and a time for feelings of anxiety and worry to subside. If reading a book doesn’t feel manageable, try audio books – there are many free ones available online.

Movie marathons
Nothing beats going through Netflix and watching every possible show, and re-watching your favourites!

DIY Home Spa
Self-indulge and soak in a bath with a face-mask and spa music. Pamper yourself!

Gardening
If you have access to a garden, go out and pull out the weeds, mow and rake the lawn, trim the hedges, transfer plants, get your hands dirty. If you don’t have a garden then what about changing up your indoor plants?

Get fancy in the kitchen
Try your own MasterChef at home. Challenge yourself to create something that takes a lot of extra time.

Take time-out from social media and the news
This can be a major buzzkill. Try to find moments in the day when you are not connected to the internet. The news and media in general has become a great source of anxiety at the moment, and there is evidence of people either entirely disengaging or developing almost obsessive tendencies around keeping updated and informed.

Keep a journal
Studies have shown time and time again of the importance of journaling to release our thoughts. It’s almost as good as having your own therapist. Maybe by the end you’ll have some drafts for a book.

Try out meditation
Maybe this could be a good time to tap into your inner self. Try out some meditations to calm your mind. These are some skills that will help you ride the waves of anxiety well beyond your time in self-isolation.

Get creative
Try out some drawing, or adult colouring books. Drawing has been proven to reduce anxiety and relieve symptoms of depression. It also gives your mind a chance to focus on one thing.

Book an online appointment with a counsellor
If all of all the above is not helping then check our online counsellors page here to learn more about booking an appointment with a mental health professional.

If you’re in need of mental health support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
For resources and up-to-date information for COVID-19 in Australia, check out health.gov.au, call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 or speak to your GP.

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