Posted on August 2021 By Speller International
About half of the Australia population is in lockdown and many of us are exhausted, lonely, worried, and quite possibly angry.
People are missing their loved ones, helping children with remote learning, and trying to manage work from home or continuing at their usual workplaces despite the challenges (that’s assuming they are still employed).
As our managing director Judy Cole wrote last week, the SAP sectorhas been fortunate, and consultants are in high demand, but that doesn’t mean that it’s all plain sailing.
Employee Assistance Programs
At Speller International, we have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), as do many companies and certainly the public service. You should not hesitate to take advantage of these free and confidential counselling services. Having a non-judgemental and calm voice on the other end of the phone can help during challenging times.
Employers and managers should be supportive of team members, ensuring they know that it’s okay to ask for help. The Black Dog Institute offers some great tipsfor managers, including how to lead change and manage risk.
See your GP
Yes, we have now lived with the pandemic for more than 18 months but that doesn’t mean it’s getting any easier. The continuing uncertainty means it’s normal to feel worried, distressed, and anxious at this strange time in history. However, if these feelings are interfering too much with your daily routine or if you feel overwhelmed– or if somebody close has suggested you might need help – it’s time to talk to your GP.
If your GP thinks you need extra support, they may prepare a Mental Health Care Plan. These plans give you access to allied health professionals (such as psychologists) through Medicare. Your GP can also make a referral to a private psychiatrist or a public clinical mental health service if required.
Maybe you’re sick of hearing about meditation, crochet, and baking sourdough but the reason they’re mentioned so often is that many people find these types of activities helpful and calming. Mental health experts generally agree that ways to stay positive include
Getting outdoors –as we head toward the Australian and New Zealand summer, even sitting outdoors can boost your mood. Walking, jogging, swimming, stretching, kicking a footy, or throwing a frisbee are even better.
Exercising – Research from the Black Dog Institute has found that as little as an hour a week of exercise can be highly effective at fighting depression.If you would rather be indoors – or must be due to quarantine – there are countless online workouts. Your local council recreation centres often run free online sessions.
Maintaining social connections – Yes, it can be hard to maintain enthusiasm for Zoom drinks and trivia nights but do it if you can, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. If you’re feeling lonely, call old friends from school or uni or a former workplace, a cousin you haven’t spoken to for ages, and get in touch with professional contacts. You might also explore options for new activities once life returns to ‘normal'.
Expanding your knowledge –Explore online galleries and museums, listen to podcasts, or start a language course. Check out the business, creative and technology options at LinkedIn Learningor ask your employer for online training that could advance your career.
Calling for support
Lifeline and other phone services provide short-term support for people who are feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty coping or staying safe. They offer confidential one-to-one support and listen without judgement.
If you or anyone you know needs help:
Lifeline on 13 11 14
Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
Headspace on 1800 650 890
We’d love to hear how your tips for coping – comment on our LinkedIn post or contact us.