Inner wellbeing and resilience during COVID-19

At last week’s employee forum we heard from Monash Health Clinical Psychologist, Max von Sabler, who spoke about the importance of resilience. He emphasised there has never been a more important time to be aware of our mental health and wellbeing. He also mentioned that we should move away from thinking of mental health as either good or bad. Rather, we should think about degrees of mental wellbeing and mental illness, ranging from high to low.

The mind and body need some form of stability for survival. The key to avoiding burnout is by maintaining balance. Max says, “When things start to become unbalanced, that’s normally when we become unwell.”

Balance is essential in maintaining our health and wellbeing and preserving a sense of safety. We can balance potentially harmful factors such as financial threat, work pressure and threats to safety by trying to maintain a routine, being emotionally flexible, and tapping into social supports.

Max went onto frame resilience as an outcome of our efforts in the face of stress and adversity. For example, when responding to a stressful event we use protective factors such as a focus on control and social support. These protective mechanisms facilitate resilient outcomes and work to strengthen our resilience.

Max provided some steps we can take when trying to maintain resilience and inner wellbeing:

  • when something difficult or stressful happens, try to focus on the wider context of your life as opposed to the singular event
  • talk openly with key people about your problems and needs
  • acknowledge your challenges and setbacks
  • acknowledge your feelings and respond to them appropriately
  • avoid black and white thinking.

During a time when unpredictable challenges may arise, it is important to make sure we look after ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally.

If you missed Max’s presentation, you can view it here. You can also access his slides and other wellbeing resources on the Monash Health COVID-19 website. Be sure to tune into our Thursday Employee Forums for more health and wellbeing content. You can view upcoming events here.

Approved by Karen Lowe, 10 September 

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