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health, wellness and beauty

Compassion to beat the pandemic blues by DR EDWIN KRUYS

Offering a helping hand often helps us feel more positive


any have suffered a loss in the past 18 months and most of us have had to make sacrifices. Following the news intensely can feel stressful and deflating. The content appearing in our social media feeds may be upsetting at times.

Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service (CMWSS) / 1800 512 348 / coronavirus.beyondblue. The CMWSS is specifically designed to support people through the pandemic. It is available 24/7 at no cost to callers and offers tips and strategies for self-guided support, referrals, information and support from counsellors briefed on the pandemic response.

Thankfully, there is also good news. Overall, we have been fortunate compared to some other places in the world. All pandemics in history have come and gone, so it is likely the COVID-19 pandemic will ease over time. There are a few steps we can take ourselves to get through the pandemic. Social distancing, wearing face masks, and the vaccination programs play a key role. But I believe there is another essential ingredient to help us through stressful times: compassion.

The Beyond Blue Support Service continues to operate as usual, providing support for those experiencing suicidality, anxiety and depression. Beyond Blue Support Service (BBSS) / 1300 22 4636 / au/getsupport

Compassion makes us move beyond our differences; it comprises concern for others and their distress. I have seen some wonderful examples lately of people stepping up to the challenge.

Both the CMWSS and BBSS are staffed by skilled mental health professionals.

Supporting others can give us a sense of purpose. It strengthens social connections. When we are looking after neighbours, family members or strangers we are also planting seeds of goodwill that may, in turn, lead to other positive thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Kindness and compassion are not just clichés - they can be a source of our own happiness, improving our sense of wellbeing. They are powerful ingredients of self-care.

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Other effective self-care strategies are daily physical exercise, mindfulness, meditation, relaxation exercises, reading and engaging in a hobby. Less helpful strategies are smoking, drinking alcohol, withdrawing from others, insufficient or irregular sleep and making unhealthy food choices.

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Talk to a health professional such as your general practitioner (GP) if you have concerns about your levels of stress, anxiety or low mood.

To learn more call us on (07) 5445 7044 or visit

Dr Edwin Kruys is a GP with an interest in mental health, and medical coordinator of Ochre Health Maleny/ Montville.

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Hinterland Times September 2021  

Hinterland Times September 2021  

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