Written by Jay Anderson

Well, where has the year gone?? It's been a tricky few months. Lots of changes. Too much in the news. What's happening here? Or there? Who really do you believe??  The tv, the newspaper? The internet? Or Facebook? Your friends?? what is the latest? What are you allowed to do, or not do....?? more changes. Things keep changing. How do you cope with that>? Hows is your family coping? What are the challenges this week?

There is something different every week.  Stay at home.......be careful.......don't go out.....keep the kids home from school. Or don't? Send the kids to school. Work from home. Return to work.......got no job......So many things to consider. So much to think about. What to worry about? It can be destabilising, unsettling or disconcerting. So who is looking after you? Are you looking after yourself??? That's the really important question......

Each country is different and changes keep happening.  Being isolated can be a particular challenge.  Can't see friends? Or maybe we “can”  (need a walk? Join me for a run at the park?) ...other challenges? Well – what about being stuck in a small space with the same people for a significant period of time.  Or being alone and not able to connect in with family and friends. Reflect on what has happened in your country and for your family.

Perhaps you or someone in your family is more vulnerable. You are concerned about their health, or your own.....about their future....or yours. So much to consider and reflect on.

Children are watching – watching how their parents deal with emotions, or conflict, or all this change. What do you do with the sadness, the frustration, the shock and the disbelief?

            Here are a few strategies to assist:

  • Enjoyable Activities - Do something you enjoy every day and every week. It doesn't need to be huge. That special hot drink. A walk down at the park. A yoga class, some meditation or a bath.  Plan something to look forward to.
  • Physical Activity - A routine of physical activity can help in so many ways.
  • Doing things together - Having some fun things to do together. As a couple or family – things for enjoyment, connection and happiness - Board games. music. Gardening
  • Having time with friends – someone who cares and understands. Who can listen.....
  • My time – Your time - In a relationship? Don't forget some “time apart” – doing what each of you are interested in. reading a book, going to the park. Listening to music?
  • Maintaining consistency with routines is important – eating, breaks, sleeping....
  • If things are getting difficult then consider connecting with a counsellor or Psychologist – who can provide support for managing emotions or for parenting and relationship support. This can be face to face or telehealth.

Looking after YOU is vital. So often we look after others, caring for those around us. But, don't forget the “airplane” safety motto – Look after YOU first, then you can look after others.  There are many challenges and many things to consider. 

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