Looking after your mental health and general wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak


There are plenty of feelings of anxiety, worry, concern and sadness that individuals may experience during this time. This is an unprecedented event which may spark these feelings. This is a time to band together – apart. Maintaining social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and practicing only essential activities.

At Foundation House we are committed to construction industry workers. We understand the current situation that the world is facing and are dedicated to assisting those in need.

Finding a healthy balance

It’s important to recognise that we are all faced with a magnitude of more negative information at the moment which can heighten feelings of fear, worry and anxiety. We believe that it is crucial to be informed regularly about COVID-19, but we also believe that it is useful to regulate the way media affects our lives. If it is becoming anxiety provoking every time you turn on the news or scroll through your phones – try and limit this time for both yourself and your family.

Watch your alcohol and drug consumption! This may amp up when in isolation or quarantine as a coping mechanism and a way to help the ‘time pass’ – reach out instead. We don’t need to turn to mood altering substances to change the way we feel. This is also a time to watch out for online gambling and gaming. There is plenty of support around that can assist if you struggle with this.

Use reliable sources

While every media outlet is covering the news, it is useful to remember that there will also be sources that are not so credible. Stay updated through the Australian Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert (available online), download the ‘coronavirus’ app on your phone to stay up to date, check out smarttraveller.gov.au for any travel information for Australian Citizens and also the World Health Organisation (WHO) for all updated information around the world.

Be aware that ‘fake news’ can spread incredibly fast through media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Presidential Twitter accounts and so on.

Perspective Taking

Using the above information will help you stay informed in a way that will beneficial to your mental health. Remember that there are experts working quickly around the world to contain the virus and treat those affected. The Australian government is putting precautions in place nation-wide to help with this.

Financial Hardship

We recognise that a lot of Australians will be out of work temporarily during this time, which may put a strain on households and relationships. If you are experiencing this, please contact Service NSW or The National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or ndh.org.au/debt-problems/covid19/

Relationship Problems/Domestic Violence

As always, domestic violence in Australia is an issue that seems to be growing yearly. Particularly during this time, relationship problems may increase and we may see an increase in domestic violence. If you feel at anyway threatened or have thoughts of violence, contact emergency services (000) or 1800RESPECT for confidential advice and counselling.

Tips for Mental Health during Isolation/Quarantine

Managing our mental health is a priority during this outbreak. We have been placed into a ‘lockdown’ phase meaning we need to maintain distance and some of us may not be able to enjoy our regular ways of self-care.

  • Remember that this all temporary. Things have been put in place for specific reasons and they are for our best interest
  • Stay connected with friends and family via phone, facetime, message etc.
  • Engage in healthy activities: cooking for yourself/family, board games, reading.
  • Keep regular sleep patterns
  • Allocate times for certain activities and plan out your day as usual
  • Avoid social media/news that you may find distressing
  • Maintain physical activity – walking, indoor training.

Breathing techniques and meditation

These can be very beneficial during this period if you’re experiencing difficult emotions or just want to keep your mental health in check.

Breathing using the 4-7-8 technique. Empty the lungs of air, breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds and exhale forcefully through the mouth making a “whoosh” sound for 8 seconds. Repeat this 4 times. Generally when we become aware of our own breathing and mental state, we are able to regulate and feel a more positive emotion.

Meditation can be achieved with practice. Jumping on YouTube and searching “mindful meditation” will show plenty of results. Download the ‘Calm’ and ‘Headspace’ apps will also be of benefit!

Reaching out

Picking up our phones will be our best friend during this time. Reaching out and asking for help when we need it. There is no shame in not feeling 100% – so let’s talk to someone.


Foundation House – 98103117

Lifeline – 13 11 44

Mensline Aus – 1300 789 978


Assault/DV Helpline – 1800 427 017

National Debt Helpline – 1800 007 007


Alex Kalliris

Psychotherapist & Senior Counsellor