It is fair to say that the current COVID-19 restrictions in South Australia, and nationally, are challenging. Uncertainty is uncomfortable for many and can result in out-of-the-ordinary responses, emotions and experiences. Here are five tips that may help you get through these severe restrictions and unprecedented times:
1. Be respectful
Emotions are likely to be running high during this isolation period. Remember, you are only human and have feelings and emotions just like everybody else. Respect yourself and respect those around you.
2. Set aside some time for yourself
I appreciate this may be difficult, particularly if you have children, but the benefit of having some time alone – albeit brief – can work wonders. This alone time could look like sorting out the sock draw (thanks, Nicola Spurrier), trying a new recipe, or watching a movie. Or, it could simply be taking 1-2 minutes to take some deep breaths to re-centre yourself before helping the children through their online learning. Don’t be afraid to tell members of your household that you need some time to yourself, and encourage them to do the same.
3. Keep communication with members of your household open
It is important to communicate to members of your household how you are feeling and the support you may require. If you don’t tell them, they may not know or be aware of how you’re feeling. Communication is a great way to keep everyone on the same page and address minor issues before they become large problems. Remember that communication is a two-way street, so encourage dialogue between members and remember that we’re all in this together. Be mindful, however, that certain conversations should wait until children aren’t present.
4. Reach out to extended family, friends, and those not in your household
Reaching out to others is a great way to stay connected, gain a new perspective, and show kindness to those in your world. This is particularly important if you're living alone - don't let this time of physical isolation lead to social isolation, and remember that others may also be struggling. Take time to talk about the past, the present and the future, or a funny meme you found online - whatever you need to stay connected. Technology has provided a great way to keep in regular communication with close contacts – let’s reassure each other that we will get through these challenging times together.
5. Make a plan
I often speak to my clients about making a plan. Now is the time to make a plan about what you will do once this lockdown comes to an end. It may be a small plan, for example, to attend to a DIY job you have been putting off, or you may plan a trip to the Barossa with family or friends. Whatever the plan may be, put your thoughts and ideas on paper and think beyond this lockdown!
Remember to be kind to yourselves and respect each other. Together, we will get through this lockdown.
If you need mental health support in this time, please reach out to the SA COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line on 1800 632 753. They're available from 8am-8pm, 7 days a week.