MEMBER WELLBEING: Coping in these uncertain times

We are in uncer­tain times and for the fore­see­able future, our dai­ly lives will change and with that we need to make some basic yet nec­es­sary adjust­ments to ensure that we can cope now and with what will come over the next days, weeks and months.  Many are being asked to work from home, whilst those in essen­tial ser­vices and com­mu­ni­ty ser­vices are see­ing an increased and relent­less demand for sup­port.  The home­less are still home­less, the lone­ly still lone­ly and the sick still need med­ical care.  Sit­u­a­tions such as this pro­vide oppor­tu­ni­ties, chances to show our worst and our best.  As indi­vid­u­als and as a club, we have a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to shine, to be kind to our­selves and to oth­ers and to look out for those who are doing it tough in our inner cir­cle and our wider com­mu­ni­ty.

Whilst there have been some exam­ples of pan­ic and poor behav­iour, there are many things we can do to ensure that we get through this togeth­er as a com­mu­ni­ty.  Not all changes from this sit­u­a­tion are bad, peo­ple are con­nect­ing with oth­ers in cre­ative ways and we are see­ing some inspi­ra­tional exam­ples of what it means to be a mem­ber of the human race and how sim­ple acts of kind­ness change the lives of oth­ers.  Our envi­ron­ment is enjoy­ing a break from mass crowds and our oceans and our air are like­ly to improve as a result of the lim­i­ta­tion on trav­el.  Moth­er nature may get a chance to reset and per­haps we will all reflect on our lives and think about what is impor­tant and what real­ly mat­ters to us.

Here’s a few tips to help you face the chal­lenges you and oth­ers might be expe­ri­enc­ing;

Work­ing from home

  • Cre­ate a rou­tine and stick to it. Get up, get dressed and work irre­spec­tive of the loca­tion.  Yes, resist the temp­ta­tion to work in your pj’s, keep­ing to a nor­mal rou­tine is best.
  • Set aside a place for work, try to avoid work spread­ing all over home
  • Be strict with work hours, strict with your­self and with oth­ers
  • Take breaks, get up, go out­side
  • Try to exer­cise when and where pos­si­ble, we all did this before the inven­tion of gym’s we can do it now
  • Con­nect with oth­ers through the many plat­forms avail­able, this will help you and your col­leagues feel con­nect­ed and less iso­lat­ed

Fam­i­ly Life

  • Acknowl­edge that hav­ing kids at home and all being in one space for extend­ed peri­ods of time can be stress­ful.
  • Have space where each can go to have some ‘alone time’. Don’t feel guilty about need­ing this, we all do.
  • Be mind­ful of yours and oth­ers height­ened emo­tions and stress lev­els. It is an unfor­tu­nate fact that we are like­ly to see an increase in fam­i­ly and domes­tic vio­lence at this time.  Know your own lim­its, have some strate­gies to cope and if vio­lence in the home is a real­i­ty for you, know where help can be found (see resources below)
  • Stay con­nect­ed, phone, skype what­ev­er it takes.
  • Lim­it screen time for all and find reli­able resources to get your infor­ma­tion. The Dept of Health, oth­er gov­ern­ment sites and reli­able mass media sources are like­ly to give you the most cur­rent and accu­rate infor­ma­tion.
  • Acknowl­edge that for chil­dren this is like­ly to be a scary time. Talk to them, keep expla­na­tions sim­ple and stick to rou­tines as much as pos­si­ble.

Per­son­al Well­be­ing

  • It is okay to feel anx­ious and scared but try not to cat­a­strophise the sit­u­a­tion and pan­ic. We will get through this, life will con­tin­ue, it might just look dif­fer­ent and some of that dif­fer­ent might be good.
  • If you find you need some­one to talk to about your men­tal health, call Life­line (see below)
  • Take advan­tage of new down time; get those jobs around the house done.
  • Have a clear out, give some of your excess to oth­ers who might need it more.
  • Write a let­ter or card to some­one you may have lost touch with or a neigh­bour who might be feel­ing lone­ly, iso­lat­ed and vul­ner­a­ble. It might make a huge dif­fer­ence to them.
  • Look for cre­ative and dif­fer­ent ways of doing things. Exam­ples are dri­ve­way Anzac morn­ing cel­e­bra­tions, dri­ve way exer­cise groups, walk­ing your dog at dif­fer­ent times to avoid crowds.  It is still okay to go out­side, just observe rec­om­mend­ed hygiene prin­ci­ples and social dis­tance rec­om­men­da­tions.
  • Eat well, sleep well and you are like­ly to have a bet­ter immune sys­tem.
  • Do some gar­den­ing, start that veg­ie patch you always want­ed to do

The key mes­sage here is try not to pan­ic, life will con­tin­ue, we will get through this so take care of your­self and of oth­ers and choose to show your best.

Pam Bubrzy­c­ki


Domes­tic Vio­lence Help Line   1800 Respect (1800 737 732)

Life­line  13 11 14

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