Navigating a new routine under COVID-19
brought to you by the Inspiro Counselling Team
These are extraordinary times and looking after our mental and physical health is more important than ever. It’s easy and normal to become overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety, depression and uncertainty and, for most people, the usual routines and activities that we enjoy have been affected. Some of us may feel like we are living in a bubble looking at the same four walls, others may be feeling isolated and unsure how they can connect in these times. Whatever your experience may be, I can guarantee that others, including ourselves at Inspiro can relate.
Many of us have defined our lives in terms of our activities or with being “busy”. With schools closed and many people working from home we are having to learn to navigate a new way of living and finding enjoyment in different ways. Although this can feel very foreign to us, it can also be an opportunity to learn to do things different in our daily lives.
So what are some of the ways we can support our mental health in this time?
Create a Weekly Routine and Schedule:
- Invite the family to participate in the activity.
- Grab some large pieces of paper and textas and get the family to create a weekly schedule, mark times for work, exercise and enjoyable activities.
- Download an online calendar program and share with the kids, this can be a great way to teach young kids some computer skills.
Find new ways to connect to friends and family, this is really important if you are on your own:
- If you enjoy games, download an app that you can play against family member or friend, some that come to mind include, Words with Friends, the Monopoly boardgame app and even UNO is available online.
- Download an online teleconference platform and make a schedule to keep in touch. Try Zoom, Facetime or Skype to name a few. If you have teenagers, take this time to understand the platforms they use such as Discord or Tik Tok.
- If you have elderly relatives that don’t have technology, cook them a meal and write a letter that can be dropped at the front door and make sure you pick up the phone regularly. It is important that we try to find ways to connect with everyone, particularly those who may be more vulnerable in this time.
Dedicate Time to Your Health:
- It is very tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day, eat snacks and watch Netflix, but now more than ever is a good time to keep as active as you can. There are many free workout options online on Youtube for all abilities. Many gyms are providing free online classes, so it could be worth googling that local gym you have planned on joining!
- Take the opportunity to get outside for some exercise, go for a walk or bike ride, or dust of those rollerblades from 1991. Under Stage 3 Restrictions we are still able to get out once a day in the fresh air for some exercise as long as it is local to your area and restricted to your immediate household or one other person.
Learn a New Skill or work on that project at home:
- Maybe you always wanted to start that new project, learn that new language, start that craft or learn how to sing. For many this is now a possibility without the pull of our usual social engagements.
- Some great free programs that may interest you include Coursera, Skillshare or Lynda.com (usually available with your local library membership)
Although there are many ways to adjust to how we live in this time, with feelings of anxiety and worry normal. For some the impacts of Covid-19 may be far reaching and having a far more serious impact on their mental health. It is important that if you need support that you know that it is available. If you are feeling teary, struggling with sleep disturbance or relying on alcohol or drugs to cope in this time, Inspiro counselling services are available. For more information about our counselling services please contact 9738 8801
If you need urgent support, please do not hesitate to contact the following services:
Emergency Services – 000
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Suicide Call back service – 1300 659 467
Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800
Mensline – 1300 789 978
Safe Futures (Family Violence Support) – 1800 015 188.