Isolation In Melbourne
The COVID19 pandemic has definitely thrown a spanner in the works for many of us during isolation in Melbourne.
There’s almost no part of our lives that hasn’t been disrupted by COVID19, whether it be our work, finances, families, friendships, or just heading out to do some exercise or go pick up some shopping.
For those of us living in Melbourne, Australia, we’re experiencing long days of lockdown with very stringent restrictions.
This in itself, brings many challenges and psychological risks that we’re forced to cope with which may include an increase in depression, loneliness, anxiety, a low mood, substance abuse, low energy, sleep problems, feelings of despair, family violence, suicides, job losses, business closures, a raft of mental health challenges and the list goes on.
We’ve lost that feeling being able to live our ‘normal’ lives. This affects us all differently, however, there’s no doubt that in some way, it’s affecting each of us.
One thing I know is that we’re strong. We’re extremely capable of dealing with challenges. We all have the capacity to be able to adapt and survive. We know that we have to get through this, and we will.
But, this has been a challenge that has been altogether different.
It’s the isolation that is challenging me. And I’m an introvert!
For those of us that are struggling with isolation, here are a few tips.
Tips For Coping With Isolation
Establish a routine as much as possible.
Stay connected to those you value in your life. Don’t fall back into your shell. Get on the net and schedule video calls, call someone, invite people over (if you can). These all are hugely beneficial to stay off that feeling of isolation.
Do things you enjoy, like cooking or reading or jigsaws.
Exercise as much as possible. The benefits of this can’t be overstated. It helps with your mental health, your sleep, with your mood, it relieves stress and improves concentration, in addition to being an extremely powerful anti-depressant.
Listen to Music. The benefits are vast.
Challenge yourself by trying something new, whether it’s online learning (youtube or classes), cooking a new recipe, or reading a new book each week or learning a new language.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out. Talk to a friend, call a helpline (for those of us in Australia, here’s a list), so whatever you need to do, to convey what you’re feeling to someone. This is crucially important.
I’m extremely grateful to say, I’m going ok, and am blessed with a job that allows me to receive an income and provides me with support from my colleagues.
Melbourne In Its Darkest Hour
It wasn’t until I took a trip into the Melbourne CBD this week for work that I fully came to understand what the repercussions and consequences of isolation in Melbourne looks like.
So, in line with my ‘Essential Work’, armed with my ‘permit to work’, I headed in.
On the way in and then again back out, I encountered a very different city that I’ve had the pleasure of working in for a total of almost 30 years.
It was beautiful, yet empty and quite eery at the same time.
I thought I’d pull out the iPhone and took some quick shots, just so sometime in the future, I can be reminded of how late-2020 played out.
It was bizarre. Something that may never occur again (hopefully). A city that has lost its edge, its soul, its life. It was like I was in the twilight zone, or the zombie apocalypse (that’s real right?).
Keep in mind, this was in the middle of the week, in the middle of the day when, usually, the population of the Melbourne CBD on any workday is almost 1 Million people!
I feel for the countless businesses that will never re-open.
I’m saddened by the hundreds of thousands of people out of work and the obvious flow-on effect from this.
I’m heartbroken for those who are suffering from mental health issues during this isolation
I’m devastated by the loss of life and pray for peace on those who have lost loved ones.
And, I’m Pissed Off around the very poor handling of this crisis.
However, I’m comforted by the fact that we’re all in this together, home-schooling our kids, working remotely, finding new interests, trying to make ends meet, and having the time to work out what’s really important to us.
Thanks specifically to all the front line workers, and to all those who are continuing to keep our economy going. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
No one event defines us.
Our purpose isn’t aligned with our job nor is our happiness based on what happens to us.
More than ever, we need to find that connection that will sustain us through the bad times. For me, it’s my faith in God. For you, it may well be something else.
Whatever it is, tap into it and find solace.
Stay safe my friends and I’ll see you on the other side of this, better and stronger.
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