USC experts have weighed in on how to manage stress while living in coronavirus-induced isolation.
USC experts have weighed in on how to manage stress while living in coronavirus-induced isolation.

USC experts reveal 7 top tips to beat coronavirus stress

SLEEPING well, staying active while remaining indoors and asking for help when you need it are among the major steps to coping with stress during the coronavirus pandemic, experts say.

University of the Sunshine Coast Associate Professor in clinical psychology Helen Stallman outlined seven of the most important ways residents could manage stress, anxiety and uncertainty as the pandemic continues.

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Coronavirus has brought about stressful times for many of us.
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Queensland Health’s latest figures show 79 people within the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service district, which includes Gympie, have so far been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Statewide the total sits at 781 as of Thursday morning.

“We need to accept that we can’t control everything at this time, but take steps to control the things we can,” Prof Stallman said.

“It is important to create new routines if we are working from home or can’t go about our usual activities, so we develop a new normal.

“There are 7 tips to cope with stress and uncertainty during the pandemic: Get 7-9 hours’ sleep each night to boost your immunity and emotional regulation, stay active even if it’s just around the house, eat nutritious foods, use healthy coping strategies when you’re upset, ask for help when you need it, keep in touch with friends and family (and) use ‘Care Collaborate Connect’ to support those around you when they’re upset.”

Dr. Larisa McLoughlin, research fellow in youth mental health at USC.
Dr. Larisa McLoughlin, research fellow in youth mental health at USC.

Prof Stallman said making time to “have a break from other people” in the household was also important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle while coping with the coronavirus restrictions.

USC Research Fellow in Youth Mental Health Dr Larisa McLoughlin emphasised the importance of social media to keep a sense of connectedness with others during isolation.

“It is important to remain socially connected at this time. Social media is so important for this and can be used to stay in touch with your friends,” Dr McLoughlin said.

“Try to talk to someone every day, and even better if this can be via video rather than messenger.”