Health Matters Articles


Coping with Covid

February 28, 2023

With Sydney and other parts of the country well into the latest period of COVID-related lockdown, it is timely to consider the particular impacts being felt by people who are living with chronic health conditions and disabilities.

For people living with chronic conditions and disabilities accessing the community and engaging in social activities may already be challenging, and this challenge is only heightened by COVID-related restrictions. The impact of social isolation on emotional wellbeing has been well documented and can include experiencing low mood, loneliness, anxiety,  sleep disturbance, reduced sense of purpose and a loss of motivation, not to mention the flow on effects for managing a chronic condition or maintaining functional independence.

Here are a few practical tips that may help:

  • Reach out to a friend or family member online. Using online and video conference technology is not always easy or comfortable for everyone. Be Connected is an Australian Government website that features courses and information about how to communicate online via a range of platforms.
  • Do something enjoyable or rewarding.Doing even small things that give you a sense of enjoyment and achievement is an important way to maintain emotional wellbeing. Because lockdown and restrictions can limit the activities we would normally do we need to be a bit creative. Start by writing a list of things you can do at home that you enjoy or that give you a sense of achievement, and pick one or two to try each day. Scheduling activities into your daily routine can increase your chances of doing them.
  • Seek help if you need it.These are genuinely difficult circumstances for many people, and there are a range of professionals and services who are able to help you to manage the impact of lockdown and isolation. Many services are available online, by phone and/or video conference technology. Here are a few to get you started:

Contact Beyond Blue: Visit the Beyond Blue website HERE for a range of helpful resources to help you cope – you can even chat with a mental health professional online. Beyond Blue also provide a 24/7 Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service (Ph. 1800 512 348).

Visit MindSpot: MindSpot is a government-funded digital mental health clinic that provides free, anonymous assessment and treatment for adults experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain and more. Visit their website HERE or phone 1800 61 44 34 to find out more.

Find a Psychologist: Speak with your GP about accessing Medicare funding to see a Psychologist in your area or online. You can find a psychologist near you via the Australian Psychological Society’s website HERE. Northern Beaches Rehabilitation provides psychological services as part of our multidisciplinary approach, contact us to find out more and make an appointment.

Despite the significant challenges presented by lockdown and COVID restrictions for people living with chronic conditions and disabilities, there are things we can do to lessen the impact on our emotional wellbeing and hope this can help during these circumstances.  Northern Beaches Rehabilitation continues to deliver essential multidisciplinary services to ease the burden on our acute medical services, and as always continue to do so in a safe and considered manner. Please do not hesitate to call and chat to our team to see if we can assist in anyway during these unprecedented times.