Whilst there aren’t currently volunteers in our hospitals due to the COVID-19 restrictions it’s important to recognise the benefits of staying connected during this time of physical distancing.

Volunteering has already proven to be of significant benefit to an individual’s health and overall well-being and having regular social interactions is critical for your mental health and well-being.

While our ability to have social interactions with friends, family and co-workers is limited for now due to COVID-19, we can still stay connected with each other in a number of ways.

Online support

During the COVID-19 outbreak, media coverage of the pandemic has been extensive, and the crisis has left many anxious about what may be to come.

Organisations such as Headspace and SANE Australia (in partnership with Open Minds) have established online discussion forums and support services to help you through any emotional challenges you may be facing during these unprecedented times.

Video call

Video calling has been shown to reduce depression generated by isolation, fostering a stronger sense of connection to others and helping to maintain existing relationships.

There are a number of excellent free video calling apps including:

  • Facetime
  • Skype
  • Whatsapp

Disconnecting from ‘the new normal’

Our ‘new normal’ the outbreak of COVID-19 has introduced can continue to generate heightened levels of anxiety and stress and while we have a number of different tools to help us stay connected with each other during isolation, it can be also helpful for your mental well-being to disconnect from ‘the new normal’ for a while.

Avoiding both news media and social media for periods while increasing time spent on activities such as reading or meditation can help in calming your mind and reducing anxiety.

When we return

Once volunteering resumes at Epworth, it represents a great way to significantly benefit our overall health and well-being.

Volunteering provides an opportunity for you to meet similarly-minded people and brings fun, fulfilment and a sense of belonging.

Epworth HealthCare offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities from administration to patient support and you can volunteer for short-term or longer periods.

Author Rowan Webb

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