Beyond Blue knows that many Australians abroad, and their families in Australia, are experiencing distressing circumstances due to the impacts of COVID-19.
If you’re in this difficult situation, prioritising your wellbeing is important.
Below is some advice on how to look after your mental health during this time.
(Note that links below are to articles on Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. While this site and all articles were created for people in Australia, the information may also be useful to Australians who are overseas.)
Incorporating healthy routines into daily life
If possible, getting enough good-quality sleep, exercise and relaxation helps support mental wellbeing. As does following a healthy diet and keeping an eye on your alcohol intake.
Prioritising self-care is also important – aim to do something for yourself every single day.
Managing feelings of stress and worry
Open up to loved ones about how you’re feeling and share your concerns with them. Whatever those concerns may be, confiding in someone you trust will help.
If you’re unsure whether your worry is a natural response to a stressful situation or something more serious, our article on how much worry is too much worry may be useful.
To help alleviate stress, you might consider mindfulness and meditation techniques.
Being physically distant from loved ones doesn’t mean you can’t still be emotionally close. Whether by phone, online or in person, staying connected to loved ones is incredibly important for your mental health right now.
Doing things you enjoy on a regular basis can help lessen feelings of loneliness and separation. Consider also joining new groups or communities (online if you have to stay at home).
Handling tough emotions
Understandably, you may be dealing with some challenging emotions right now. You can begin to manage these feelings simply by acknowledging them and accepting them as a natural response to the situation you’re in.
This article contains further advice from a clinical psychologist on dealing with challenging emotions.
Trying to stay positive
Thinking positively may feel hard right now. To nurture a more positive outlook, try to focus on the things in your life that you can control. Perhaps find a moment each day to stop and make time for gratefulness. And pay attention to things that remind you of happier times – photographs, mementos, music and so on – and trust that good times will come around again.
Our support services
Beyond Blue’s counselling support service is a national Australian service and is not able to safely support international callers. We know that many Australians abroad are experiencing distressing circumstances, and we’re working hard to find ways to support their mental health.
If you’re an Australian currently overseas, we encourage you to reach out to local services including medical centres or hospitals. Or contact an Australian embassy or consulate in the country where you’re located for guidance finding appropriate support in that country.
The Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website may also be able to provide further guidance around issues that might be impacting you.
If you need urgent help or have significant welfare concerns, emergency consular assistance is available 24 hours a day by calling the Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305.