IMAGINE A daughter trying to visit an elderly parent in a nursing home but not being allowed to.
Imagine a child who has many friends, but they are unable to play.
Imagine a person with breathing difficulties being forced to wear a mask or a person whose hours have been reduced, now living in a less-than-perfect living arrangement.
These scenarios are now being lived out by people in regional and rural communities.
Self-care is always a high priority but at times, in the middle of change, we may forget the basics.
There are many sources of anxiety being experienced by so many people in regional and rural Australia (more than the usual!)
These sources are more likely personal but have a likelihood of affecting work and may include:
- Wearing masks
- Homeschooling children
- Social distancing
- Risk of being infected
- Health (of self, others, parents)
- Return to work.
Maintaining proper self-care strategies is of prime importance now more than ever. Some tips for looking after yourself and others:
- Remember we all cope differently – don’t force your strategies and reactions on others.
- Accept the circumstance. Acceptance is the first step to coping.
- Look out for a change in behaviour in people around you – these are clues to their internal struggles. So, listen to the “loud” people but look out for the quiet ones. Watch for evidence of lack of sleep, loneliness, not hitting deadlines etc. Words that may indicate a reduction in mental wellbeing such as being “over it”, or asking “How long is this going to last?” “Why are we doing this?” or general words of frustration.
- Allow people to communicate whenever and wherever they want. Consider starting the conversation by discussing how you are feeling about the circumstances first.
- Consider limiting access to general news and social media – have a “block out” period during the day (best over the family dinner).• Stick to the facts (or at least what you know to be the facts) without adding any of your assumptions.
- Use technologies available such as face time, Messenger, Skype to visually interact with others. This is particularly important for children and their grandparents.
- Surround yourself with photos of events, people or places that generate positive emotions.
- If you experience waves of emotion, bring yourself back to the present, focus on what you can control, manage your thoughts, and critically, make sure you are safe.
- If routine has been disturbed, seek to reinstate. Routine creates certainty and certainty creates safety.
- Emotional fatigue may lead to complacency and complacency can lead to mistakes. Keep fresh – sleep well, eat well, drink water, maintain good gut health and keep moving.
- Observe your children. Be mindful of your behaviour in front of them – remember you are being observed. How you behave through challenging times and periods of change shape how your children behave in the future.
For more information or support, contact Dennis Hoiberg, Lessons Learnt Consulting on 1300 365 119.
Links to other sources of support with Covid-19 focus: