With most of the hospitality industry self-isolating, it’s important to take care of your mental health during this uncertain time.

Keep in touch

According to the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation: “Connecting with people who make you feel safe and loved is the most important thing you can do to look after your mental health and the mental health of people around you.” Try to stay connected with family, friends and colleagues – at least on a virtual level. Write emails or organise a time each day to call, FaceTime, Skype or video Messenger your family and friends.

If you don’t have anyone you feel you can talk to, these helplines are free to New Zealanders:

  • 1737 – Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
  • Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or free text 4357 (HELP)
  • Youthline – 0800 376 633 or free text 234
  • Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Join a virtual community

Join Facebook groups in the industry or your interests, there’s one for almost anything you can think of. The liquor industry already has one of the best communities there is, so be sure to tap into that on a virtual level.

There are also Facebook groups available to assist with your mental health and community groups for your local area who can provide support should you need supplies, help or just to chat.

Other ways to keep occupied and interact with other people include playing online video games or board games, joining or starting a virtual book club or listening to podcasts.

Stay active

Self-isolation can be difficult if you don’t have much space to move around. But it’s important to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day to help ease anxiety.

Try doing mini-bootcamp, a yoga class or pilates class in your backyard or lounge. These can all be found online or on YouTube.

Go for a walk, run or bike-ride around the block (but ensure you always stay two metres away from others), or just turn on some loud music and dance, or walk up and down the stairs.

Anything that you can do to get your heart-rate up and clear your mind is positive.

Tips from WHO

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: “It’s normal to feel stressed, confused and scared during a crisis. Talking to people you know and trust can help. And try not to read or watch too much news if it makes you anxious. Get your information from reliable sources once or twice a day.”

WHO’s tips for maintaining positive mental health also include:

  • Eat healthy to boost your immune system.
  • Limit alcohol and sugary drinks.
  • Don’t smoke. It can exacerbate COVID-19 symptoms and increase your risk of getting seriously sick.
  • People working from home shouldn’t sit too long in the same position.
  • Take a three-minute break every 30 minutes.
  • Get your mind off of the crisis. Listen to music, read a book or play a game.

For more information, visit www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/covid-19/

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