Looking after your mental health during COVID-19

COVID-19 is creating uncertainty across many communities and industries. The performing arts and live event sectors have been greatly impacted.

During these uncertain times, we are going to need strength and connection to get through. It’s hard to know where to start – especially when everything is changing so quickly – so let’s keep it simple.

Keep things in perspective

The actions being taken now may seem excessive, but they are being taken to protect the community at large for the long term – and especially our most vulnerable. Our best resource is our health, as that impacts everything else. We don’t know how long these closures and cancellations will last, but remember that these actions are temporary.

Take care of your body

You can’t fill from an empty cup. Now more than ever we need to engage every strategy we have to be resilient, energetic and healthy. Try to eat well, sleep soundly, and exercise. Follow the simple health advice we all know, avoid risk, and if you become unwell, rest up and recover.

Take care of your head and heart

It is totally understandable to feel overwhelmed, anxious or low in response to the current situation. Recognise the thoughts and feelings without judgement, and allow yourself to feel them. Then, find something positive to focus on. Doing things that make you feel good is the fuel that will take you forward. Take a walk if you can, listen to music, talk to a friend, watch a movie, meditate, learn a new skill, play a game. Aim to do something enjoyable every day.

Take care of others

We’re all in this together – every person in our industry is impacted in some way. Support and kindness go a long way in making the giver and receiver feel better. Check in on each other regularly, be kind, and offer help. When you need help, reach out to your friends, networks and professional supports. When someone reaches out to you, listen non-judgementally, ask what might help, and be clear about what you can give – be ready to refer them to other supports.

Take care of your community

The performing arts community will recover in time. Stay connected with your friends, peers, and colleagues – look for and engage with what’s on offer, and keep developing your own ideas. Promote the arts to your wider network, encourage them to donate if they can, and be ready to fill those seats when we’re back in action.