Unleashing the power of the mind to overcome lockdown stress

WSLHD People and Culture consultant David Johnson

With the COVID-19 lockdown extended through August, many causes of stress and anxiety in our lives right now are beyond our control.

But there is a tool within your control that anyone can harness: mindfulness meditation.

David Johnson introduced this practice to Western Sydney Local Health District staff last year to help manage the additional stress of COVID-19, and he continues his twice-daily sessions for staff online.

The ancient practice has taken many forms for many purposes, but the common idea is focusing on the present moment and being aware of your own thoughts and feelings.

In the latest episode of the Western Sydney Health Check podcast, David explains the concept and runs a 15-minute mindfulness meditation session for you.

“Going to the gym for your body, you build up the skill and the technique and the power and the fitness to be able to overcome physical obstacles and stresses,” David said.

This exercise of mindfulness meditation is useful to build up the skill and the power of the mind to let go and detach from stressful situations.

“So if you happen to encounter a stressful situation with regular practice of meditation, we can recognise those feelings of stress or anxiety or worry or anger, whatever it may be, and the skill of mindfulness meditation allows us to detach from it much more quickly than we otherwise would.”

Besides twice-daily mindfulness sessions, Western Sydney Local Health District provides many initiatives to support staff wellbeing including wellness information hubs, manager and team wellness sessions, and counselling through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

If you’re a staff member, find out more at the COVID-19 Staff Wellbeing page.

To find out more about the mental health services available for you or someone else in need, call the Mental Health Line at any time on 1800 011 511.

For mental health support at any time, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

In an emergency, please call triple zero (000) immediately.