We thought it might be helpful to have a chat to some of our team members about how they have been managing during this tough time and see what suggestions they could offer.

Dr Gilda Brunello has found one of the most challenging aspects of the pandemic has been the uncertainty around making plans for the future, even the near future, such as holidays or important family get togethers. Cancelling events and missing important milestones has been tough. Bringing the focus back to the here and now, focussing on the small things in your day that you can plan and control can help with this. Being mindful of the present moment we are in, rather than spending most of our ‘thinking time’ in the future, is Gilda’s top tip for managing this aspect of the pandemic.

Jo McGregor on our reception team, has found many coping strategies to help her get through this challenging time. Finding purpose is key for Jo, and she feels fortunate to be able to continue working. Having grown up on a farm, in relative isolation, she has used some of the lessons learnt there to guide her approach – focussing on structure and daily routines even when working from home, using mealtimes to punctuate the day and connect with loved ones (even if remotely) and, our favourite – finding a mood-lifting “sunshine moment in the day”, even if it’s just finding a sunny spot for 10 minutes to enjoy a cup of tea. Great advice Jo!

Dr Steve Thackway thinks it’s important to incorporate some daily physical exercise into your routine – he enjoys a daily swim but even a 20 minute walk around the block can help. On a broader level, he emphasises that we can’t be too tough on ourselves, it’s OK to not be OK and talking to someone about it can help.

Mary Fox, one of our practice nurses, also finds daily exercise, outside in the fresh air, helps her to keep a clear head. We’ve all heard that a 30 minute walk most days is good for our heart health but even a quick 20 minute walk outside has been shown to help our mood levels and protect our mental health. The same is true of spending time in nature – it doesn’t have to be a walk through a forest, even just being able to see the sky and some greenery has been shown to help. As an added bonus, you’ll get your daily dose of vitamin D. Mary points out you can’t do that in a gym!

For more tips on how to manage difficult times, read our article on Mental Well-being during difficult times.

Photo by Jonathan Chng on Unsplash

Further resources and crisis support:

For kids and young people:

13 11 14

Beyond Blue
1300 22 4636

Kids Help Line
1800 55 1800

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