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Challenges of Living with Change

Challenges of Living with Change

One day we were hearing about this virus on the news and then the next thing we know we were placed into social isolation and social distancing. All our lives changed in a very sort amount of time, teachers and parents assumed very different roles and routines. Some parents said that they felt helpless and unable to help their children. Some of them felt torn between trying to manage their own work and their child’s work. Feeling overwhelmed and isolated by the whole situation was a common reaction to the situation.

What has been the impact of Covid-19 on our community?

Potential effect on our mental health:

  • increased anxiety for self and others - this can be expressed as a fear for one’s own health, and a fear of infecting others
  • psychological distress - due to social distancing rules and phobia about catching the disease
  • perceived stigmatisation – it is a disease that is new and for which there are still many unknowns, we tend to be afraid of the unknown, it is easy to associate fear with ‘others’
  • social isolation - from friends, family, church community and others
  • interruption to employment or study - many families are trying to recover without certainty that they will be employed again
  • impact on normal daily routine and functioning.

What can we do, coming out on the other side of such an event?

If you notice a change in the way that you or others, are thinking or feeling then these strategies may assist your mental health:

  • Maintain a balanced daily routine, even if it’s different to the one that you had before Covid-19.
  • Connect with family, friends and others to support each other as much as possible.
  • Tell someone you love them and ask them “Is there anything that you need help with?”
  • Continue to look after yourself through regular exercise and healthy eating.
  • Ensure you have some time to relax and wind down from the stresses of life.
  • Indulge in doing something that you enjoy every week. This can be watching a movie, having a relaxing soak in the bath, listening to your favourite music, playing a game with your children or re-engaging in sporting activities.
  • Keep up to date with Covid-19 restriction changes - ensure you have access to accurate and current information from a reliable source.

What can we do now with changes in restrictions?

  • Take the children to the park and play some sports.
  • Go for a trip to the beach and walk along the sand.
  • Go to a café and have a meal, even though dining restrictions still apply.
  • Visit someone you haven’t seen for a while.
  • Celebrate events with others that you couldn’t before.
  • Go for a bush or mountain walk.
  • Invite a friend out to have coffee.

How can we build better relationships with our children?

There are five ways parents can tell their children that they love them:

  • Talk - tell them that you love them and praise them.
  • Touch - use physical contact like hugging or kissing them.
  • Token - give them something like a small gift that they aren’t expecting.
  • Tasks - do something for them that they usually do, like doing one of their chores.
  • Time - spend quality time with your child. If you can spend time with each child one on one, this says to them you are special to me.

Catherine Redwood

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