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Tips for managing stress during COVID-19

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Living through COVID-19 will be challenging in many ways both personally and at work. It is important to pay attention to your own health and wellbeing so that you can continue to care for others as a health professional.

Practical ways to manage your mental health during this time, include:

Allow time for wellbeing

Be aware of how you are feeling and respond to your needs for rest and nourishment, whilst keeping active:

  • Take regular breaks during work hours and when at home, including getting outside
  • Maintain a regular sleep routine
  • Pace yourself, this is likely to be a marathon
  • Speak up if your workload is not manageable
  • Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water throughout the day
  • Engage in physical activity within the required isolation restrictions
  • Acknowledge your emotional state
  • Don’t rely on smoking, alcohol or other drugs to deal with your emotions
  • Find healthy ways to reduce your level of stress by doing something you like to do. For instance, relax by listening to music; or being in nature; or practising yoga or meditation
  • Keep learning new things. For instance, take on new responsibilities or rediscover an old hobby
  • Be aware of where you can access mental health support if you need it
  • If you’re a manager, recognise that in this time of uncertainty you don’t need to have all the answers all of the time and that your wellbeing is important too.

Connect with others and be aware of the needs of your colleagues

Maintain your social connections with colleagues, family and friends by phone or online or with a WhatsApp group:

  • Check in with colleagues and your staff routinely during the workday. Make sure they are taking breaks and managing their workload
  • If you’re a manager, design equitable rosters and workloads. For instance, rosters that provide for ‘recovery time’
  • Encourage teamwork and provide support for those that appear to be struggling
  • Consider the needs of colleagues: help each other during the workday, or when possible, swap or adjust more stressful roles
  • Listen to each other without interrupting
  • Acknowledge how each other is feeling
  • Thank each other and acknowledge everyone’s effort
  • Do something nice for another person each day, this only needs to be a small gesture, such as asking “R U OK”.

To read our fact sheet on Managing Stress in Pharmacy during COVID-19 click here.

Watch the PSS and AJP webinar COVID-19 from surviving to thriving here: https://ajp.com.au/events/webinars/webinar-recording-covid-19-from-surviving-to-thriving/

COVID-19 wellbeing resources

Australian Psychological Society

https://www.psychology.org.au/COVID-19-Australians

Beyond Blue

https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/

Black Dog Institute

https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/coronavirus-anxiety-resources

Phoenix Australia

https://www.phoenixaustralia.org/coronavirus-covid-19/

Video FACE COVID – How To Respond Effectively To The Corona Crisis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmvNCdpHUYM

Information about COVID-19 collated by the pharmacy organisations

PSA web resources

https://www.psa.org.au/coronavirus/

PGA web resources

https://www.guild.org.au/resources/business-operations/COVID-19-Information

SHPA web resources

https://www.shpa.org.au/news/covid19-information-hub