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How to look after yourself and others during COVID-19

10 August 2020
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How to look after yourself and others during COVID-19

R U OK?Day : 7 ways to lighten the mental load during COVID

There’s never been a more important time to focus on our mental health and to support each other.

COVID-19 has imposed changes on all of us: physical distancing, travel restrictions, working and schooling from home and, for many, a lockdown. Lots of people have lost their jobs and have money worries too.

R U OK?Day on 10 September is an important time to pause and reflect on how we’re going. It’s also an opportunity to focus on our mental health and to check in with others.

Check in with friends and family

You don’t need to be a trained counsellor to check in with someone about how they’re feeling: you just need to connect with them and listen.

The R U OK? website has tips for starting a conversation to “check in” with others. You can also download this guide for tips on asking the right questions, encouraging someone to take action, and following up with them in the future.

How to manage - and lighten - the mental load

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in lots of ways.

According to the Australian Psychology Society, it’s normal to feel anxious as a result of major change and uncertainty. But we can take steps to bolster our mental health as we navigate through these challenging times.

Here are seven simple ways to help lighten the mental load:

1. Look after yourself

Physical activity, good food and lots of sleep are essential to help you manage your mental health. Make time as often as possible for hobbies that you enjoy.

2. Stay social

Even if you can’t see friends and family face-to-face, keep connected through phone and video calls. That’s especially important if you live by yourself.

3. Talk about it

If you live with others, your own emotions might mean that tension and conflict arise more easily with those around you. But by sharing your feelings and concerns, you’ll probably find that others are probably experiencing similar emotions.

4. Manage your news intake

If the news feels overwhelming, try to put a limit on how much you read, watch and listen to. Exposing yourself to too much bad news can take an emotional toll and make it harder to unwind.

5. Allow yourself to adjust and grieve

Many of us are missing our old way of life, and grief is a natural reaction to any loss or change. Give yourself time to adjust and adapt to new routines without putting pressure on yourself.

6. Access mental health and wellbeing services

If you’re feel anxious or stressed, it can help to share those feelings with others. The mental health and wellbeing support organisation Beyond Blue has trained counsellors available 24/7 on 1300 22 4636. They can provide support and advice if you need it, and all calls are completely confidential. Your GP is an important source of support and assistance too.

7. Get help early for financial stress

If you’re concerned about your financial situation, assistance is available. The Beyond Blue website has helpful tools to assist with managing money. You can also contact Financial Counselling Australia for support. Your bank and other service providers are also likely to have assistance packages – so find out what support is available.

What CUA is doing to support its members

At CUA, we’ve implemented a package of financial relief measures to assist our members adversely impacted by the pandemic. We’ve also made changes to our health insurance arrangements to ensure our members can continue to access the health services they need.

If you’re experiencing financial difficulty due to the pandemic, CUA members have the option of deferring payments on mortgages and business loans for up to six months and extending the loan for the same period.

Similarly, you can also suspend your health insurance policy and premium payments for three months. If you need hospital treatment during that time, you can just call to have your policy reactivated.

We have a range of additional assistance options available to support our members, which you can view here. You can also discuss assistance arrangements with our customer service team on 1300 499 260.

Are you looking for a better health insurance deal?

CUA Health Insurance has been helping Australians care for their health since 1976. We’ve put over 40 years’ experience into creating health insurance that offers more to help you care for the ones you love – like value-for-money Hospital and Extras cover that’s right for you.

Get a health insurance quote

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