During this time of social distancing due to coronavirus (COVID-19), feelings of anxiety, distress and concern may arise. These are completely normal feelings to have in the current situation that does not feel so normal. Many people are experiencing these feelings. You are not alone in this experience. It’s important that we all look after our health and wellbeing during this time and seek supports.
Below are a range of resources that may support your wellbeing. Resources range from mindfulness to stretching, breathing to reading, watching or listening. Whether you have 5 minutes or 50, these resources are useful to try out. We hope these may be helpful in some small way for you.
Tips to maintain a healthy mind and body
- Be mindful of exposure to information through stories, traditional media and social media. It can be helpful to take a break from the 24-hour news cycle.
- Do things that make you feel physically and emotionally safe and be with those who are helpful to your wellbeing.
- Engage in activities that promote a sense of calm and feeling grounded (use of alcohol and other drugs can be counterproductive with this). Try developing a meditation or yoga practice at home or set a routine for walking or riding a bike.
- Stay connected with others that you feel safe with, and share this shared experience.
Resources to help with processing the impact of COVID-19
- How to cope with stress related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) (A Headspace resource for young people)
- Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak (Beyond Blue)
- Mental Health Support Contacts (Free services in your local area)
- 5 Ways to Wellbeing during this time of COVID-19 (Greater Bendigo City Council).
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for Australians (Australian Psychological Society)
- For information and updates on the COVID-19 virus, please visit the Department of Health and Human Services
- Information about COVID-19 in a range of languages COVID-19 information in your language.
Take a Deep Breath, Calm: A collection of meditations, music, sleep stories, soundscapes, stretches, and other resources.
Weathering the Storm, Headspace: Free guided meditations for relieving stress, walking at home, and for when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Insight Timer: A free library of meditations, from sleep to stress, anxiety to music, with meditations for children and young people.
Self-compassion guided meditations: Free guided mediations specifically focused on developed self-compassion for ourselves when we are feeling overwhelmed. Beautifully delivered by Kristin Neff.
Exercise, yoga and stretching
Yoga for Uncertain Times playlist, by Yoga with Adriene: A YouTube playlist of different yoga tutorials. Featuring yoga for insecurity, mood swings, anger, stuckness, stress relief and management, and many more.
Stretches for Back Pain Relief: A 20-minute routine to help stretch your back, neck and shoulders.
Vichealth Guide to Healthy Exercise during COVID-19: An explanation of how exercise and movement can help our mental health – includes links to exercise activities.
Food for our Creative Imaginations
Monterey Aquarium Live Cams: Ten different live cams from the Monterey Aquarium in California from jellyfish to penguins, the open sea and the kelp forest! See below for a 5-minute look at the jelly cam.
Museum Virtual Tours: From the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, this list of 12 museums you can tour online for free is a useful resource for time alone or with children.
The Museum of Contemporary Art have brought their part of the Biennale online, with a selection of artworks and galleries now available as 360-degree virtual experiences.
The National Gallery of Victoria has launched immersive virtual tours of its exhibitions: you can currently ‘walk’ through the their blockbuster (and normally ticketed) exhibitions Keith Haring | Jean Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines (and listen to the audio guide at the same time) and Kaws: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness.
Bendigo Art Gallery have created an online version of their exhibition Bessie Davidson and Sally Smart: Two artists and the Parisian avant-garde. The exhibition, which was open for just one day before the gallery had to close, features more than 50 paintings by lesser-known Australian Impressionist Bessie Davidson, who found success in 19th-century Paris, alongside works by her great-niece: renowned Australian artist Sally Smart.
Sydney Theatre Company have launched this new series, presenting bite-sized videos made by their artists and former collaborators during lockdown.
The Art Gallery of NSW have now launched their Together in Art project, which brings online performances (like singer Sarah Belkner performing inside the now-closed Shadow catchers exhibition), artist interviews and art how-to-guides (including a fabulous face-drawing lesson from Ben Quilty, accompanied by his daughter Livvy).
Listening, Reading and Doing
Audible Free Children’s Stories: A free Audible library of stories for small children, teenagers, and some for adults too (varying lengths).
Goodnight with Dolly: Imagination Library bedtime stories, read by Dolly Parton.
The Power of Play Podcast: Sarah Seekamp from Raising Children talks about the importance of play for child social and emotional wellbeing.
Do What You Want Zine: A one-off online-version of Do What You Want zine edited by Ruby Tandoh and Leah Pritchard, all about mental well-being.
How to Manage Coronavirus Anxiety, The Guardian: A mid-length piece on adopting strategies to control our inevitable anxiety at this time.
LGBTQ+ Guide to Self-Isolation: A 32-page PDF focusing on mental, physical, and emotional health and well-being for LGBTQ+ people in isolation.
Coronavirus and your well-being, Mind: A huge list of different resources from Mind, from practical advice and support services to coping strategies and tips on taking care of your well-being.
Looking for a distraction? 25 Guardian Long Reads: 25 Guardian Long Reads, in one place, if you have the space and time to read something not about Covid-19.
Jo Bodley: A knitting and crochet blog with designs to make finger puppets, bags, patterns, scarves and loads more.
Kitten Rescue Cam: Watch a private room at Kitten Rescue Sanctuary in Los Angeles!
For Parents to use with Children
Resources that may assist when talking to children about COVID-19:
- Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus (Child Mind Institute – also available on YouTube)
- How to talk to your children about coronavirus (UNICEF Australia)
- Supporting children COVID-19 (Emerging Minds)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): family guide to supporting children (Raising Children)
- Supporting teens during coronavirus (ReachOut)
Videos to help children understand their feelings and reactions
Sesame in Communities : There are some good videos on here to use with children and young people – the Belly Breathing song is beautiful.
Why Do We Lose Control of Our Emotions? : A very good resource for kids to watch!!! Simple, easy-to-understand animation to help early primary school aged children gain an understanding of the way their brains work to recognize and manage their emotions. This is intended as a beginning resource to help children, parents, educators, and those who work with children to encourage mindfulness, empathy, and emotional regulation.
Inside-out explanation of the importance of allowing sadness to have its place: This is a useful resource for parents to watch with their children, but not for a child to look at by themselves.
Be the pond: Great resource – short mindfulness video for children. It talks you through a brief meditation exercise and explains in a child-friendly way that we are separate from our feelings. Primary school aged resource, and the younger ages.
Making Good choices ; Great resource – especially good for children on the ASD spectrum and younger aged children.
Superpower Listening : Great resource for younger aged children. Highly recommended.
Alfred and shadow- A story about self-criticism : This is a short educational film that demonstrates how our inner critic can make us feel ashamed of who we are and make us feel lonely and down. The first two minutes are a bit intense showing what self-criticism looks like, so not something for a child to watch by themselves, but ok to watch with adult support and guidance. The second half is very nice way of showing how to talk to your self-critic.