For many people the last year has been hard. A lot has happened which has been out of our control, and this pandemic has lasted a lot longer than we thought it would. Almost every area of our lives - our health, job security, family life, and ability to engage in cultural practices have been affected.

It is normal to feel things like anxiety, stress, and fear. Some people may feel grief and loss for how things used to be.

While COVID-19 has changed ways of being and doing, it has not changed ways of knowing.
It is important that through this time, communities continue to practice culture and traditions where possible.

Practising culture helps people and communities to stay strong. While physically distancing, it is more important than ever to remain socially, emotionally and culturally connected.

We know people are tired, but to get through this, we need to stay strong. We need to keep our bodies strong, our spirits strong and community strong.

Keep your spirit strong

  • Keep to a daily routine.
  • Stay in touch with friends and family.
  • Practice your culture and traditions from home if you can, like sharing stories and family history.
  • If you can, get outside and connect with nature and country.

Sometimes it is hard to explain how you feel or know when you need help. Head to Health has put together kit to help you Keep Your Spirit Strong, and there are plenty of other ways to get mental health and wellbeing support.

Download the fact sheets below for tips on looking after your health and wellbeing or visit the Open Your World website to find tools to improve wellbeing and stay healthy, active and connected.

Keep your body and mind strong

  • Exercise and eat well.
  • Get vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19.
  • Practice good hygiene (PDF 340KB) by taking sanitiser with you and wash/sanitise your hands regularly, keep surfaces clean, don’t touch your face, cover coughs and sneezes in a tissue or elbow.
  • Get a COVID-19 test as soon as you have any symptoms such as fever or chills, headache, tiredness, cough, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, even if they are small.
  • Talk to your doctor or health care worker and ask what else you can do to stay healthy.

Watch the animations for tips below, talk to your local health worker or visit dedicated support webpages for Aboriginal peoples at Head to Health if you need additional help:

Keep your community strong

  • Call people for a yarn on the phone.
  • Talk about the community and check if they are OK.
  • Talk about the virus and how to stop the spread.
  • Connect to family and friends on social media.
  • Don’t travel if you are unwell.
  • Wear a mask when you can’t physically distance 1.5m from others, e.g. on public transport.
  • Keep in touch with your community. Staying connected with family, friends and your community is important.