STRONGER TOGETHER: Why focus on mental health is vital amid pandemic

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By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services' Managing Director

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya focuses on taking care of your mental health throughout challenging times.

As 2022 rolls in ‘unprecedented times’ are quickly becoming precedented and it's important to mentally check-in and be kind to yourself.

Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director
Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

Moving into the third year of living with Covid-19 virus among our society, you are not alone if you are not feeling as rested after the holidays as one may have hoped. 

As the pandemic continues to influence the way we live our lives, understandably you may be experiencing fatigue and burnout. 

However, it is important to focus on what we can control rather than what we cannot to minimize feeling overwhelmed.  

It is likewise important to stay informed by reliable sources and take care of your mental health.  

Being able to identify signs of burnout and effectively managing your mental wellbeing is vital in 2022.  

Beyond Blue outlined the following signs to look for with regards to burnout:  

Feeling mentally and physically exhausted; disconnecting yourself from the world and family and friends around you; being unable to focus on or perform even simple tasks (at work or at home); struggling to stay motivated and caring less and less; and becoming irritable or losing your temper easily with those around you.  

Building strong mental wellbeing can increase your resilience and provide you with the tools to navigate this changing world to best serve your needs.

Some of the building blocks to stronger mental wellbeing like health – getting enough sleep, eating well, drinking water, and exercising – come as no surprise.  

But it’s not always as simple as having a glass of water and getting your 8 hours.  

Being kind to yourself and others can also help improve your state of mind, as can identifying things you are grateful for, going outside and connecting with others.

Entertaining negative thoughts can be a slippery slope for your mental health, but when you practice positive thinking, it can have a more productive flow-on effect.  

According to information on Queensland Government’s mental wellbeing site, acts of kindness can trigger the release of oxytocin – stimulating areas of the brain associated with social connection and trust, “which makes you feel good”.

“Showing gratitude can improve your self-esteem, enhance empathy, reduce aggression and even help you sleep better.”

While social distancing remains important to reduce the spread of Covid-19; there are ways to connect with people and ensure you do not become negatively impacted by solitude without putting yourself at risk of contracting the virus.

Whether it be via phone, email, or video chat - you can reach out to friends, family and even health professionals to benefit your mental wellbeing in a responsible way.

IMPACT Community Services has a dedicated team working in mental health across Bundaberg, Burnett, and Discovery Coast regions. 

For more information on IMPACT’s mental health support services click here.

Remember if you are visiting the IMPACT site at 108 Bargara Road, East Bundaberg to wear a mask while indoors.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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