How to: Manage Mental Health during a Pandemic

Did you know, one in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 experience mental illness throughout their life? So, it is understandable during this time, that feelings of anxiety, distress and depression may be enhanced as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent lockdown.

Although it is important to keep up to date with the latest virus information, it is also important to keep vigilant and aware of your own mental health and well-being. Everyone needs to support one another, whilst remaining aware of their own needs.

The following are some mental health and well-being tips to think about during this time:

Media & information

If you find yourself spending hours each day reading the news, which often showcases the negative and daunting updates from around the world, then stop. Whilst we encourage you to not keep your head in the sand, it is important to do what is best for your mental health.

Try to avoid becoming overwhelmed with the amount of information – this can be a major trigger for people suffering from anxiety. Instead, find a healthy balance in relation to media and news coverage and limit viewing if it’s a trigger for you.

If you want an update on COVID19, pay attention to credible and quality information sources, such as these:

Above all, try not to make assumptions about information or about others. But rather, focus on what you can control and your environment.

Social media usage

Social media usage has increased 76% since the beginning of the pandemic. And whilst it can provide entertainment, contentedness and positive news, it can also be a trigger for some people to feel anxious or depressed. Take a moment to ask yourself: do you do any of the following?

  • Compare yourself to others
  • Wish you looked different
  • Think your life is boring and dull
  • Feel lonely and isolated
  • Compare how many likes you got compared to someone else

These are all mental illness triggers, so if you find yourself doing any of these, consider turning off your social media applications and see how this changes your daily thoughts.

Healthy habits

Now more than ever, it’s vital to prioritise your health. A healthy body and healthy mind go hand in hand, and it’s not just an old wives’ tale, it’s science. Here are some helpful health tips:

  • Get outdoors – go for a walk or run with your favourite music at a park or beach, somewhere which is safely within the lockdown restrictions, but also puts you back in nature and gets those endorphins pumping.
  • Do a home workout. Many businesses are putting on free home circuit sessions at the moment such as Nike. Download their fitness app to give it a try.
  • Follow official advice around hygiene habits, keeping clean and protected around others.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Get enough sleep – at least 7 hours/night. Perhaps skip your daily coffee and opt for herbal tea instead.
  • Eat nutritious foods to not only boost your immune system at this time, but to also boost feelings of well-being.


Try to maintain a practical and calm approach and don’t dwell on the negatives. In moments like these it is important to practice self-efficacy and gratitude.

Our challenge to you: Each day, write down 5 things you’re grateful for now and why, and 5 things you will appreciate more after this pandemic is over.

Above all, remain centered and try to find the positives in your own personal situation.

Ask for help

It’s ok not to be ok. Don’t shy away from asking for help. If you find yourself feeling down, or overly anxious, seek support. You can head to easily accessible websites including:

Also think about talking with your employer and be open and honest about your needs for extra support and understanding during this time. It is stressful for everyone trying to manage their jobs from home – both employers and employees. Practicing compassion and understanding is the best way to get through this challenge stronger and better than ever.

Quality use of time

When in our lives will the entire country / world be forced to stop?! Literally… pencils down, stop what you’re doing and go home. It’s a momentous time in the world, so try to use this time wisely. It may last 2 weeks, it may last 2 months, but however long it is, make the most of this challenging situation.

Here are some ideas to spark creativity as to how you could spend your extra time:

  • Spend quality time with your family and loved ones. This is a unique opportunity we have been given.
  • Catch up with old friends (virtually!): this is what smartphones were built for! This will ensure your feelings of connectedness and social interaction are maintained.
  • That job around the house you were putting off for months, get it done.
  • Do some gardening, painting or simple cleaning and make your home the best it can be (because after all, you’ll be spending a lot of time in it!).
  • Start that side hustle or blog you have always wanted to.
  • Learn an instrument.
  • Read a book – here is a list of some of the best 2020 books.

Working from home

Speak with your manager and/or HR specialist if you are feeling distressed or concerned about working from home, interacting with colleagues or your mental health.

It can be challenging to get into a good new routine. Create an office or work space for yourself and make it comfortable. Ideally an area with a window, some natural light, and a door.

Be realistic about what you can achieve, prioritise those things, and make a list of the things that are unachievable (run these by your manager too of course).

If you’re working from home with kids – this blog is a must read.

Quiet time

Embracing some quiet time once or twice a day is important for everyone, but particularly those who are feeling anxious or stressed. Allocate at least 10 mins each day, to sit still and breathe smoothly and deeply, with no distractions. Try and do this outside if possible – sit in the sunshine and close your eyes.

Look into downloading and using a meditation or keep calm app – headspace and insight timer are some of our favorites.

How can we help?

We recommend anyone experiencing heightened mental health issues or stress at the moment to speak with a health professional.

We will also be offering Therapy and Well-being Packages with remote sessions for one-on-one counseling, meditation, and general wellness. This is for individuals and employers. Keen to learn more? Please reach out to us at to receive your info pack.

From our team at LMHR Consulting, we wish you all a healthy, safe, calm and productive day. We are all in this together.
For any advice or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us for help.