Calm the Farm, Follow the Rules and Stay Healthy and Connected.
Okay, this week we have heard the news we did not want to hear.
There has been a case of COVID-19 in the West Australian Community. When hearing this news, there will be those who will be able to process it in a calm manner and do what is asked of them. There will also be others who panic and anyone who was at the shops on Sunday afternoon, likely witnessed this state. It is very likely that no matter how you reacted to this news, you may be feeling, anxious, scared, and frightened. Under these circumstances, these are normal reactions and normal emotions to be experiencing. We have been here before and seen what this looks like elsewhere and it is not pleasant and feeling any of these emotions is okay. It is okay to be scared and to panic. It is okay to be frightened and to want to run and hide. When we find ourselves confronted with something that scares us, these are all normal reactions, feelings and behaviours. However, in situations such as this, it helps to look at the facts, so let’s do that here.
- We have one individual who unfortunately managed to contract COVID-19 and go about his business as normal, unaware of what he was carrying in our community.
- Our government has reacted swiftly. Irrespective of what your political affiliations may be, we know the measures that have been put in place work. All we need to do is to follow them.
- Yes, we may need to work from home for a while. We have done this before and survived. Think of the benefits, no traffic!
- Yes, we need to home school our children. We have done this before and so have our teachers. We are better at this now than the first time around because we now know what worked and what did not. Implement what worked.
- We can’t do some of the things we have planned and love. Try to put this in perspective. Whilst it is disappointing, we have seen in other countries that to continue on as nothing is wrong is catastrophic. Missing out on something for a few days or weeks is not the end of the world or the worst price you could pay right now.
- Yes, this is not a great start to the year for our young people who are about to start their important years in school. Again, our educators have now experienced this before and will act swiftly to support their students. If we all follow the rules, this will be a short pain.
What can you do if you are finding your fears and emotions are taking control?
- Speak to someone. Call a friend or a loved one and stay connected. If you are alone, you can call many of the online supports such as The Good Samaritans 9244 2100 or Lifeline 13 11 44. If you are feeling unwell, physically or mentally call your GP.
- Keep yourself busy and maintain a routine.
- Follow a reputable source of information and avoid social media sites if these trigger your anxiousness.
- Try to remain active and exercise. Finding an exercise buddy will help. Follow the government guidelines and be creative in how you can stay active. Keeping active helps your mental health.
- Avoid the temptation to divert your emotions to behaviours which are not helpful eg drinking, bad eating behaviours, smoking or taking illicit substances to cope.
- Try to stay positive. Think of what you know rather than speculating and catastrophising.
- Think of others who may be struggling and reach out to offer them support. Helping others makes us feel good and creates a strong sense of community which helps us all.
- Wash your hands, wear your mask, maintain social distancing measures and play by the rules. These are the simple actions which will keep us all safe and will help you to feel as though you are in control of the situation. Thinking about what you can control rather than what you can’t will help you to control your thoughts, behaviours and emotions.
As we have done before, we will get through this and we will come out the other side.
Article: Pam Bubrzycki
Photo: Andrea Waymouth