headspace advice on how to stay connected this holiday weekend

This holiday long weekend, headspace the National Youth Mental Health Foundation is encouraging young people, and their family and friends to remain socially connected in an effort to look after their mental health.

The impacts of COVID-19 means that keeping physically distant is incredibly important to the physical health of all Australians, however, remaining socially connected continues to be crucial for mental health. This coming long weekend will look very different this year for many but it remains a great time to connect and check in with one another.

headspace National Clinical Advisor Nick Duigan is reminding Australians of the benefits of social connection not only during COVID-19 pandemic, but also down the track.

“Being socially connected is important for a number of reasons. It helps in creating a safety net for your physical and mental health by increasing our feelings of belonging and reducing levels of stress and anxiety.

“We also know that we don’t just form connections through being physically present, it’s actually our experience of feeling supported, understood and close that’s crucial. These elements can be formed through phone and video calls, and other online platforms. Staying connected is good for our mental health and can help us get through tough times, like the impacts of COVID-19 we’re experiencing now.

“It’s also good to remember that being a friend or support involves both sharing and listening, we would encourage young people, family and friends to listen to what your loved one is saying when you’re connecting and show understanding and care to how they’re feeling. We can all react differently in this situation. It’s helpful to understand that there’s no right or wrong way to respond to these major changes, so showing compassion to one another is important.

“Holidays like Easter are often a time for families and friends to come together and bond. We hope this year we can find new, different, fun and safe ways to connect online and continue holiday traditions.” Nick said. 

Some of the different ways young people at headspace are loving staying connected, or are planning on implementing this upcoming long weekend include:

  • Setting fun online challenges for friends and family, like the biscuit challenge which involves putting a biscuit on your forehead and trying to get it in your mouth only using your facial muscles – or the “see 10 do 10” push up challenge
  • Download video conferencing apps like house party or Zoom. Both are fun ways to schedule in time to connect with friends and family
  • Try and keep up with your hobbies where possible like joining an online choir or dance class
  • Netflix Party is a new way to watch shows with your friends and family, even if your far apart, it syncs videos and includes a group chat, so you can analyse and discuss whatever you’re watching in real time
  • Writing and sending letters to friends and family as a way to connect in a different way



For media enquiries please contact:

headspace Media & Communications: media@headspace.org.au or 0431 289 886