Studies of mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic have found that the mental health of women, young people and people living with children have been the most affected. A study completed by the University of Manchester found that the percentage of people living with mental distress rose from 18.9 percent before the pandemic to 27.3 percent.
“Our findings suggest that being young, a woman, and living with children, especially preschool age children, have had a particularly strong influence on the extent to which mental distress increased under the conditions of the pandemic,” the experts found.
While the pandemic and lockdowns is stressful for everyone, there is a number of reasons why these particular groups may be under greater stress. Young women are the most anxious group of people in Australia. Any additional stress from isolation and lockdown is likely to worsen any feelings of depression or anxiety. Young people in particular rely on social interaction and support.
People with young children at home are also particularly vulnerable, as they often rely heavily on social networks and interactions outside the home. These interactions give balance and support in their life. Without this, feelings of hopelessness can trigger mental health issues.
How can I look after my mental health during the pandemic?
There are a number of different ways to manage your mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic:
- Acknowledge any feelings of anxiety or stress – it’s ok to feel this way
- Maintain social contact as best you can – whether in person or online
- Keep a regular sleep routine
- Eat a healthy diet and exercise where possible
- Stick to your normal routines as much as possible
- Keep a healthy work-life balance, especially if working from home
- Maintain good hygiene
- Wear a mask if it makes you feel less anxious
- Remind yourself that this is a temporary period of isolation
- Limit your exposure to the media if it’s causing anxiety
- Seek support if you need it – surround yourself with a support network of friends and family; and seek out support from mental health professionals as soon as you feel you’re struggling
If you feel that you need support during this time, our team of GPs and Psychologist can provide you with the help you need. If you feel anxious about attending health clinics at this time, Telehealth options are available. To make an appointment, call our friendly team on (02) 9241 1577, or click here.