Medicare changes: what they mean for your practice and patients
To counter the hard slog of continuing to live with COVID restrictions and lockdowns, experts recommend staying connected and creative. Here is a summary of evidence-based tips for surviving and thriving, for you and your business.
Looking after yourself
The past 18 months has seen some sound advice about how to maintain your health and wellbeing during challenging times. Some key messages drawn from informative articles like this one from ABC are:
- Stay active (your choice from home workouts to gentle walks)
- Keep connected (high- or low-tech options)
- Eat well (tip the balance towards healthy choices)
- Prioritise sleep (leave devices out of the bedroom)
- Choose when you’re on vs off (from work, social media, and the news)
- Find some joy (maybe reading, watching, being mindful, or enjoying a hobby)
- Take action if it’s all getting too much (see the resource list below).
Resources for business owners
The National Mental Health Commission has created toolkits for mentally healthy workplaces during COVID-19.
- Sole traders
- Small business
- Medium – large business
Download the right one for you here: https://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au/mental-health-reform/national-workplace-initiative/mentally-healthy-workplaces-during-covid-19
Creating a mentally healthy workplace
The Mental Health Commission reminds business owners that doing what you can to ensure you are not harming the mental health of your workers is part of your obligations. HeadsUp, the workplace arm of Beyond Blue even notes that mentally healthy workplaces are good for your business’s bottom line.
The key is communication, whether your business is open or you’ve joined the WFH (work from home) trend.
Staff, customers, and suppliers understand COVID’s impacts are not in your control. So, focusing on understanding and communicating will benefit everyone. The Commission’s guide for businesses during COVID encourages you to check-in with staff and listen without judgement.
Safe Work Australia has additional information on workplace mental health, tailored to specific industries, here: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/covid-19-information-workplaces
Resources during COVID-19
Experts know that, for most people, any fun novelty elements of lockdown wore thin a long time ago.
The Australian Psychological Society reminds us that staying connected with others is vital in these times of distancing. Remind yourself there’s life beyond your four walls by staying in touch with friends and other supports.
Their guide also recommends keeping some structure in your day, try not keep separation between work and personal time, and share the load with others.
Mental health and wellbeing organisations
Whether it’s you, your staff, or your family and friends who need extra support, these organisations are there to help:
Lifeline (We’re here for you): 13 11 14, lifeline.org.au
HeadsUp (Better mental health in the workplace): headsup.org.au
Find a psychologist (searchable directory): psychology.org.au/find-a-psychologist or phone 1800 333 497
R U OK? (Learn what to say): ruok.org.au
Kids Helpline (Anytime. Any Reason): 1800 55 1800, kidshelpline.com.au
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