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Dealing With Mental Health And Travelling Through Covid Restrictions

With life grinding to a halt due to regular lockdowns and enforced social distancing restrictions, many of us are feeling the strain. The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic are numerous, with many often overlooked. While the most obvious impacts such as financial difficulties, missed occasions and cancelled events are more than difficult already, the restrictions are also having a serious impact on people’s mental health. R U OK Day on 9th September and World Mental Health Day on 10th October are an important reminder that in such a difficult time, taking care of your mental health is crucial and shouldn’t be left to chance. While we may not be able to stray far from our homes, there are some great ways and fantastic resources to help us all get through the pandemic. Read on to find out more.
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mental health with covid restrictions

How Covid restrictions affect mental health

Covid-19 restrictions can take a toll on anyone’s mental health. Not being able to go about daily life, being stuck at home and having to adjust to a new normal can cause stress, anxiety and despair for many people. Many of us are being forced to work from home while others have lost their jobs and livelihoods, especially when they are being forced to stay inside their homes on government-enforced lockdowns in their cities. Many are unable to go and see friends and family while others are missing important events like births, weddings or funerals due to not being able to leave the state or country. This physical distancing, loss of income, bereavement due to losing loved ones to the virus and isolation caused by restrictions and lockdowns are taking a toll on many.

How to take care of your mental health throughout lockdown and restrictions

Taking care of your mental health is important to make it through the lockdowns and restrictions as smoothly as possible. There are many small things that you can do to help keep a positive energy and mindset.
  • Exercise – for many people, hitting the gym is their personal way of releasing some endorphins and letting the stress of the day melt away. While gyms may be closed during the restrictions, there are still ways for you to get some much-needed exercise to work both your body and your mind. Try doing some bodyweight workouts in the comfort of your own home or why not head outside to get some fresh air and take a run.
  • Self Care – self-care is so important, especially now. Putting some time aside to do something special for yourself such as having a bath, doing a face or hair mask or even just making sure you are eating healthy meals can go a long way towards helping your mental health.
  • Use your mind – when restrictions are severe, we may be stuck at home for the majority of the time. Rather than just sit on your couch and mindlessly watch Netflix, why not try using your time to occupy your mind and do something you always wanted to do but didn’t have the time? Whether that means reading a book, learning a new skill or learning about something that interests you, using your mind wisely will help the time fly by in an enjoyable way.
  • Travel – travelling is said to be extremely beneficial for mental wellbeing and happiness. Whether it’s travelling in groups or alone, it can beat monotony, ease anxiety, encourage physical activity and improve creativity. Although most people can’t travel far due to restrictions, this shouldn’t stop you from a little adventure in your own backyard.

Taking some time out to travel and improve your mental health

Depending on where you are and what kind of restrictions you are currently facing, there are still ways to get out and about that comply with the COVID safe rules in your vicinity.
  • Stay local – many of us are limited by where we can currently go and how far away from our homes we are allowed to travel. This doesn’t mean we can’t still get out and about though. Try exploring local areas within your allowed radius that you haven’t managed to make it to before. These can include your local reserves or beaches, or even trying out some of your local hiking spots. Just remember to always check your restrictions and ensure that you’re allowed to leave your home for non-essential reasons.
  • Get creative – if you’re not allowed to leave your home for non-essential reasons it’s not the end of the world. Try getting creative and have a backyard picnic or camping experience. This will go down fantastically with the kids and is a lovely way to have a night outdoors while still complying with government rules. Whether you organise a big wine and cheese platter around a campfire for the adults or set up a little camping area for the whole family, you can have a night of fun in your backyard.
travelling with covid restrictions

Travel rules for states

Restrictions and travel rules are going to vary by state. Before you start planning any mini holidays and days at the beach it’s important that you know what your state or region currently allows. These are the current directives in Australia and New Zealand (as of 30 August 2021):

  • NSW: Stay at home orders – lockdown until further notice
  • VIC: Stay at home orders – lockdown until further notice
  • QLD: Travel around and within the state is permitted
  • SA: Travel within most of the state is permitted, except for some Aboriginal communities which have specific border restrictions in place
  • WA: Travel within most of the state is permitted, except for some Aboriginal communities which have specific border restrictions in place
  • TAS: Travel around and within the state is permitted
  • NT: Travel around and within the state is permitted
  • ACT: Stay at home orders – lockdown until further notice
  • New Zealand: Currently on Alert level 4 with only essential reasons for moving around outside of your home permitted.

Remember that restrictions are often changing so always take a look here at the latest Australian (https://www.australia.gov.au/) and New Zealand (https://covid19.govt.nz/) government updates.

Take time to check on each other

Taking a moment to check on each other during this trying time can make a huge difference in someone’s mental health and how they are coping. With RU OK day on 9th September and World Mental Health Day on 10th October coming up soon, why not take the time to check on your family and friends to see how they’re coping with the restrictions they may be facing. Just a few minutes and a quick chat can make a world of difference in someone’s day and remind them that they’re not alone.

Travelling with ZOLEO Satellite Communicator

If you are lucky enough to be able to move around and explore your state at the moment, make sure that you have all the gear you need to do so safely. The ZOLEO Satellite Communicator is the perfect way to ensure that you will always have mobile coverage and peace of mind when you’re out exploring some of your beautiful backyards, even if you’re travelling through areas with very little or no mobile reception.

The Covid-19 restrictions are proving to be difficult for many people to deal with over such an extended period of time. The stress and strain of having life so thoroughly thrown in the air can impact our mental health in many ways we didn’t foresee previously. While it can seem hopeless and unlikely that we’ll ever get back to “normal”, there are ways we can not only work to improve our mental health but have some fun doing so. From self-care days and taking time to prioritise your fitness to getting out of the house and exploring the beautiful countryside we call home, don’t let restrictions get you down. Do some research on where you can go and what you can do in your local area and then take some time to prioritise your mental health.

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