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Now more than ever before we need to do the 5 Ways each day to protect our good mental health.

Home > Covid-19

Key Message about following the 5 Ways during COVID-19

  • By being creative each day you can easily do each of the 5 Ways
  • Remember that the measures in place are there to protect all of us but they are temporary, we will get back to where we were before but with a greater appreciation of our usual ‘normal’


Physical isolation doesn’t have to result in social isolation.

Finding time in each day to share with others in your household or via phone, text, letter, video calls/messages or online meeting platforms protects our good mental health. Connect with the people who matter most to you whether it be your partner, child, friend, sibling, or parents as well as work mates/colleagues to maintain both deep and broad relationships. Leaving a note on your loved ones keyboard letting them know how much they matter to you, can brighten up the most challenging day.

Tech platforms are cheap and relatively reliable. Try hosting a dinner party or singing Karaoke using Skype for up to 10 people, or set up Group FaceTime for up to 32 people, or if you are on Android device, try Google Duo for up to 8 people. Phone call, Messenger or WhatsUp or Facetime for 1:1 connections. Zoom is (free for 40 minutes) Google Hangouts for up to 8 people or Webex or Fam for family group chats, dinners or birthday parties. Tribe also hosts, groups up to 8 and HouseParty for bigger parties.

Apps such as HouseParty come complete with quizzes and games. You can now also join your friends at online music gigs galleries and theatre. Just decide when enjoy the fun and catch-up for the shared critique afterwards using one of the apps.

Don’t want to watch a movie alone – Netflix offers Netflix party so friends using google chrome can watch the same movie together. If you are more of a gamer, you can join your friends online and play a host of games.

Keep Learning

Many of us now have more time in a day than before which makes now a great time to invest in our brain health by stimulating new connections between nerve cells.

Any brainy activity should improve our neurological plasticity. So grab that book you have had in your top bedside drawer or join the national library or your state library online for access their vast e-resources collection.

Or you may want to check-out the free e-book collection at Project Gutenberg. You could enrol in short online course, complete puzzles or learn to paint and draw.

Be Aware

Now is the perfect time to reflect on the people and things we have in our lives that give us meaning and purpose. Appreciate your body and the things it lets you do.

Notice your breath, notice the impact of inhaling and exhaling and the release of tension you feel as you become conscious of this our most automatic bodily function. Slow your breath down and be aware of its impact on you. Practice gratitude. Make a habit of noticing all the things that are right in our lives, because as hard as this time is, it could be much, much worse.

Practice Forgiveness. Look for opportunities every day to let go of the judgements you make about others. Make the first move to smooth a potential rift with someone you care about. Experience your own backyard; smell the flowers; lay down on the grass or observe the sky.

Be Active

Make the most of the day and whatever time you have available to get some sun and fresh air. Consistent physical activity is well known to lower stress and anxiety and improve mood, not to mention strengthening your immune system.

Take a walk – with or without your dog, ride your bike, jump on your scooter or maybe a run.

Check out Instagram or Facebook for a collection of personal trainers who are doing free exercises or you may prefer to check out Pilates or even yoga or tai-chi.

Go out into the backyard with your phone and follow the online exercise or yoga, tai-chi or turn up that music either inside or outside and practice those dance moves. If you might want to get the whole family involved try the find your 30 challenge for some ideas of how to keep physically active at home.

Help Others

By helping others you are actually helping yourself as it stimulates the feel-good endorphins in your brain.

Find a way to be of service every day. Who around you needs a meal delivered, their mailbox checked, their pet walked or a phone call for support. Practice random acts of kindness a day. It isn’t necessary to have a plan of when, how or who for, but it is important to have a commitment to it. It can be as simple as letting some in ahead of you at the supermarket check-out or at the traffic lights, picking up something dropped by someone or offering a kind word or smile.

It is a moment when “the another” occupies more of your thoughts and behaviour than yourself or your immediate world. Now is also a fabulous time to donate your time and skills to volunteering with some many people struggling with personal and economic security.


“When COVID first hit, you remember when you couldn’t get toilet paper anywhere, everyone was helping each other with buying groceries, checking on elderly neighbours and then we thought COVID was over and we were okay. Then the second wave hit and we all got a bit disappointed and tired I guess. I was watching TV one night and saw these amazing ladies who had started up the angel next door movement. I thought I can do that and I jumped online and registered. It is amazing how good you feel helping other people.”


“I am a self-declared gym junkie. It is so good for my mental health. I found a few personal trainers who have put a workout session online, so now I jump on my exercise bike, get my weights out and put on my phone and follow along. It is easy and free.”


“Working from home has lost its appeal but luckily I have been able to have lunch with some of my colleagues by being a bit creative! The other day we all decided to order pizzas for lunch, delivered to our individual homes of course and jumped on house party to play trivia, have a laugh and a chat. Next week, we are playing cards online during our break.”


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