Overwhelmed, stressed, isolated. These are only a few emotions you may feel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Collectively, we are facing surreal and daunting times. The sudden change this global health crisis has brought to many aspects of our lives means it is crucial we all prioritise our mental health and wellbeing.
I am personally worried about the wellbeing of my family. I feel overwhelmed by the need to adapt to a rapidly transforming work environment. I feel stressed over the long-lasting impact this will have on the wider community. Above all, I too feel isolated in this “new normal”. I am currently in lockdown in one of Victoria’s ‘hotspot suburbs’. Like many of you, I don’t know when I will be able to return to my workplace or see family members again.
In times of crisis, it’s natural for our thoughts to attend to those we love and care for. What might not come as naturally is to ‘check-in’ with ourselves:
“What are my coping mechanisms right now?”
“Is my daily routine conducive to me feeling a sense of accomplishment?”
“How can I re-evaluate what I’m capable of in this time of uncertainty?”
“Am I being proactive enough in looking after my mental health?”
“How am I staying socially connected?”
If you need support after reflecting on these questions, you can always access the health and wellbeing services at your university, reach out to others, practice mindfulness and take advantage of the resources that give you the tools you need.
One of those resources is Smiling Mind’s new program, Thrive Inside, designed especially for COVID-19. This program can not only help you foster healthy mental habits but also to stay calm under overwhelming and stressful circumstances. So, I encourage you to download and utilise this timely and valuable resource. During these times of transition, we can discover new insights about our priorities, values and life goals.
A key insight for me is that it’s only by looking after ourselves that we can generate the energy to also look after others. Our actions as individuals show us now more than ever how our behaviour can help or hinder the society we live in. Take care. Stay safe. Be mindful and supportive of yourself, of those you love and of those in your local community.
Please know that the team at The George Alexander Foundation is here for you.