COVID-19 Mental health toolkit

A 10-step guide to help you survive lockdown

by Laura Chapman, August 2020

Since March 2020, many of us have been working from home, attempting to balance work, life, children, remote learning, pets, economic change, social isolation and our mental health, all amidst a global pandemic.

It is understandable that during times like this people may feel afraid, worried, anxious, and overwhelmed about the situation at hand.

The following strategies are designed to support you and your mental health during these challenging times.

1. Win the morning, win the day: get changed out of your pyjamas every morning. This will help you get in the right frame of mind for work.

2. Create an office/home divide: separate your work space from your living space. Having a clear delineation between the two will make it easier to have a clear work/life divide. Make sure to shut down your computer at the end of the day. For many people the commute home from work provides a chance to clear their head, so create a new routine that signifies the end of the working day and gives you the opportunity to unwind.

3. Take regular breaks throughout the day: this will benefit your head space as well as your body. This is the perfect time to do a few stretches, call a friend or have a cup of tea in the garden.

4. Exercise: take advantage of outdoor exercise to breathe some fresh air and get a change in scenery for the day.

5. Avoid distressing news: cap the amount of social media and 24/7 news broadcasts you expose yourself to daily – this may help you gain some perspective and focus on being present in your own day.

6. Stay connected: start a book club, games night, weekly dinner or coffee catch-up with friends and family via video conferencing platforms.

7. Focus on hydration & good nutrition: The way you fuel your body will have a huge impact on the way it functions.

8. Take some time out for yourself: everyone experiences “down-time” differently, whether it be reading a book, gaming, exercising, cooking, painting, watching a movie or taking a nap. This is an important part of creating balance in your day.

9. Sleep: Getting adequate sleep is fundamental to our well-being, energy levels and mood.

10. Show compassion and kindness to one-another: at a time when we are physically and socially isolated from one-another, an extra bit of understanding, kindness and compassion goes a long way. After all, we are all in this together.


If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed and finding it hard to cope, please explore the links below.

Lifeline Australia
A crisis support service offering short term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe. For Crisis Support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24/7) or via text nightly (6pm-midnight AEDT) on 0477 13 11 14.

Beyond Blue
Coronavirus mental well being support service offering phone support, web chat and online community forums. Call 1800 512 348.

Online and webchat support and counselling for 12-25 year olds, their family and friends. Call 1800 650 893

MensLine – professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men. Phone 1300 78 99 78 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). MensLine online counselling

Mindspot – free telephone and online service for people with stress, worry, anxiety, low mood or depression. It provides online assessment and treatment for anxiety and depression and can help you find local services. Call 1800 61 44 34.

Switchboard Victoria – telephone and web counselling, information, and referral service for LGBTQI people. Phone: 1800 184 527 (3pm – 12am, 7 days a week). QLife Webchat

Suicide Call Back Service – mental health support, call back service: 1300 659 467 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

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