Staying on top of our mental health Distraction and limiting exposure to media are some of the tips given by our top psychologists, as we see lockdowns and restrictions across Sydney ramp up.

Let’s see how we are doing in the Blue Mountains.

One local clinical psychologist said some of her clients are feeling the angst, and others are not too bothered by it.

“For some people it’s business as usual, because if they have an anxiety disorder, they don’t get out much anyway. But others with anxiety disorders, it’s ramping it up terribly,” she told the Blue Mountains Phoenix. “This time around with this Sydney outbreak, across the board I’m hearing ramped up anxiety, whereas in the previous lockdown, I think people were more blasé.”

One way she said we can deal with the fears in the interim is by distraction.

“Distraction is of the most immediate benefit… distraction with exercise is probably going to be the ideal because exercise brings down people’s anxiety.”

Gemma Sicouri from the Black Dog Institute said the lockdown is a good chance to reflect on our strengths, and ways of coping with the curve balls life throws.

“Don’t underestimate the little things that can help you cope; like, going for a walk outside, talking to a loved one, eating healthily and doing tasks and activities that you enjoy.”

Gemma also said the pandemic has brought some positive changes into our lives and work, like more flexibility, spending more time with household members, and a chance for some to take a breather.

“Many people have had the opportunity to slow down, reflect on what is important to them, and feel grateful for things in their lives that they may have previously taken for granted,” she said.

Beyond Blue Lead Clinical Adviser Dr Grant Blashki said it was important to be kind to yourself during the tiring lockdowns.

“Some of the things that can help are keeping up a good routine ...get sunlight on your face, eat well, and keep the sleep cycle normal,” he said.

The psychologists also said that too much exposure to Covid news reports wasn’t helpful.

Meanwhile, the vaccine roll out continues in our country at about 100,000 jabs a day, and we have better Covid treatments than we did last year, according to the Department of Health - something to smile about.

Beyond Blue has a free mental wellbeing support service where professionals are on call 24/7: coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au and 1800 512 348. Lifeline 13 11 14.

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