March 21, 2020

Self-Isolating: Advice from Student Assist

Well, there have certainly been a few changes in our world in the past few months!  This uncertainty and a constant stream of news can feel stressful and overwhelming – it’s important to look after yourselves and remember it’s okay to switch off from the constant bombardment of information to give yourself a break. 

What can you do for your mental health and wellbeing during this time?

Manage your exposure to media coverage (including TV and social media) – it’s important to know what’s going on, but you don’t need to do this 24/7. Make sure you are receiving your information from a reliable source (official government information such as from the Department of Health, World Health Organisation, Smart Traveller). Limit your intake of news via social media, as this can increase feelings of stress and anxiety.

Show kindness and compassion to yourself and others – you need to find the right level and type of support for you. If you are self-isolating, can you talk with your friends over Zoom or Skype? Can you increase your sense of community by helping a neighbour? Our plans are changing by the day – you may not be able to go to the gig you had been looking forward to for months, but what could you do instead?
Connection is so important during this time – if someone you know is struggling through self-isolation, what can you do to help them? Never underestimate the power of a phone call, an email or Skype to help people feel connected. If you are feeling isolated, consider reaching out to a friend or loved one. 

Look after your wellbeing – having a healthy routine will have a positive impact on your mental health. Stay active, keep your routines as much as you can (Uni’s moving online, but watch your lectures when they are on, try and keep up with your tutorials), eat well, sleep well and reach out if you need to. Acknowledge your feelings – focus on things that are in your control.

Rather than thinking about what we may not able to do at the moment, shift your thinking to what you are now able to do. If things you normally do are cancelled and you find yourself with unplanned free time, how are you going to spend it? Extra study? Clean out your wardrobe? Read that book you have been wanting to read for ages? Start a new Netflix or podcast series? Start a virtual book club? What an opportunity!

Stay up to date with University advice and support. If you are worried about an assessment, contact your Unit Coordinator or Faculty directly. UWA has many support services available to students – such as Counselling, UWA Medical Centre and a Drug and Alcohol Counsellor.  You can see all the services you can access as a UWA student here.

Guild Student Assist are a team of Social Workers and a Wellbeing Counsellor who provide UWA students with assistance with academic, welfare and financial issues. If you have any concerns or worries and would like a friendly ear we are available via [email protected] or on 6488 2292. Please leave a voicemail with your details and we can call you back during office hours. For more information, please see our website.

Need to talk? Handy community resources:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

eHeadspace: 1800 650 890

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277