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The COVID-19 self-care checklist

As many of us navigate new ways of working, living and playing during the COVID-19 pandemic looking after yourself, or self-care, is vital.

Checking off this self-care list will help you manage any anxiety or worry you may feel.

Don’t let the worry overwhelm you

There is a difference between general worry and anxiety. Do some research about the difference to decide whether what you are feeling is general worry or anxiety. This will help you to work out if it is time to take the first steps to seek help – your GP is the best person to speak to first.  

Take the time to look after you 

Managing your own mental health and doing all the protective things you can, such as following social distancing and hygiene rules can help you to manage any worry or anxiety you may be feeling.

RANZCP President Associate Professor John Allan recommends you:

  • keep up normal routines
  • keep doing the things that help you relax
  • keep in touch with family members and friends via telephone/video chat, email or social media. 

Are you eating properly and exercising? 

Good food and exercise are important in self-care. Maintain a healthy diet and search for inventive ways to keep moving. 

Discover something new

Now may be the perfect time for you to explore a new interest. Most of all do something that engages you and that you enjoy – get out into your garden, read, cook or make music, set up a video chat with mates or find a new uplifting podcast to follow. 

Take care of others 

Think about your colleagues, family and circle of friends. What is their situation and how might you be able to offer them support? Looking after others may also help to reduce your own anxiety. 

Seek help 

The good news is that there are simple steps to take to get the help you need. One of the most important things you can do is to reach out to your GP for help and to ask about a referral to see a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who are experts in mental health and in helping people manage their anxiety.
When seeking help it is important to find the right practitioner for you. The ‘Find a Psychiatrist’ tool will help you find a psychiatrist in your area of need.

If you think you or someone you know could harm themselves or others, get urgent help.

  • Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 in Australia or 0800 543 354 in New Zealand.
  • Dial triple zero (000) in Australia or triple one (111) in New Zealand.
  • Go to a hospital emergency department.


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