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Anxiety | panic | covid-19 | osteopathy

COVID-19 Look after your Mental Health

Written by Dr Elise Fuller

Viruses are contagious. So is panic and anxiety.

COVID-19 has certainly produced more than just a viral contagion! With people panic buying loo paper, to actual fights breaking out in supermarkets, it would be hard to blame you for thinking the world had gone mad!

According to Psychology Today1 the science of anxiety is this: “In the face of a real or perceived emergency, your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) kicks on, triggering the release of a stress hormone called cortisol. Over time, cortisol suppresses your immune system, causing a decrease in white blood cells – the cells that help you fight off viruses — putting you at greater risk of infection. The more you panic, the less able your body is to fight off illness, and the more prone you are to getting – and staying – sick.” Yikes!

But don’t stress! (haha) How can you keep your mental health well during these uncertain times?

There’s plenty of things you can do to ward off those feeling of doom and gloom. And no, it’s not just “taking a few deep breaths” (although if that helps, who are we to stop you!?)

  1. Stop scrolling!

You can’t even jump on Facebook for some light-hearted memes anymore without them being corona related. Not to mention the amount of misinformation that people share on social media. Now is a better time than any to consider a little social media detox.

  1. Only check in on the news ONCE a day.

What will keep you feeling down? A constant update on doom and gloom. We should keep up to date for sure. But constant updates are stressful, and unnecessary. A timely reminder here that not all media is factual, and often it is sensationalised, so you may want to choose other means of getting your FACTS. Some sites to check out include the Department of Health, and The World Health Organisation.

  1. Actively talk to your friends and family!

We are all in this together! It’s so easy to get stuck in your head about the state of world affairs, but your mates can bring you back to reality. When we surround ourselves with others, your brain releases chemicals like serotonin (which raises mood), dopamine (confers feelings of pleasure and reward), and endorphins – your natural pain-killers. Talking about your fears with people who understand you most can take a huge weight off your shoulders!

  1. Exercise!

We are made to move! That’s the number one thing we encourage at Boroondara Osteopathy. When we exercise, our brains release fun chemicals that burn up the unwanted cortisol and helps regulate our mood. Go for a walk, run or smash out some star jumps.

  1. Get some fresh air!

At time of writing, we haven’t been asked to self-isolate as a community yet! (unless symptomatic or suspected contact). And do you know what’s not sprouting fears about COVID-19? The rustling of trees and the sounds of nature- super refreshing and cleansing for the mind!

We hope this is encouraging for you during this otherwise heightened time. We are here for our community and hope you are staying well. At time of writing, we are remaining open for all your aches and pains. So if you need and appointment, please call us on 9859 5059. We are especially here to lend our ears for point 3 above!!



  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/pain-explained/202003/anxiety-contagion-tips-relief

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