There is a new normal post COVID, that is, people gradually returning back to normal, gradually returning to the workplace, progressively no longer being in lockdown. And as many people may recall, during the peak COVID period there was a lot of discussion around mental health issues secondary to COVID.
What is emerging less commonly is that people who as they’re returning to normal, post COVID some mental health issues, or perhaps more a risk that they could develop mental health issues. And I think that the most important thing in this post COVID world or this gradual return to new normal is for individuals to pursue the sort of things that lead to work life and personal balance. That is, if you can get into the workplace two, three days a week, try and do that because I think that social interaction is very important.
Secondly, like all mental health issues, getting into a routine, good sleep, regular waking up, exercise, not to drink alcohol excessively, all those sorts of things we know that are important for mental health.
And I think lastly, to look forward to the future, Post COVID, we’re in an optimistic period. The risk of developing this illness is dramatically diminished and at least in the broader sense some of the concerns we had in Australia around high levels of unemployment, economic uncertainty have largely diminished.
So to look at things in a much more positive as opposed to negative sense and do the things that I’ve talked about. And I think you’ll look after your health very successfully post COVID.
Dr Matthew Cullen, Psychiatrist, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney