How is the Black Dog treating you?
I could sprout quite a few ideas about why my workplace is fantastic, but just one reason is that we have a Mental Health working group who collect information and share it with the team.
I have just read this article from the Black Dog Institute, Coping with the continuing pandemic in 2021. Have a read, I bet you can relate.
This is how I am going.
- Reflect on how well you did last year. How well did I do? Pretty well, I guess. The children survived remote learning. I already worked from home. I got through teaching a the topic of Gender Equity online. My marriage celebrant business was a struggle with daily emails, phone calls, calendar changes, crying couples, angry couples, but overall, we got there. I still have 5 weddings which have not been rescheduled. The bright side is that they will make up some of the dates in 2022 which have not been booked yet because everyone is too shit scared to plan anything. We built a house and shed, we moved, I finalised Grandma’s estate, I put one foot in front of the other and I survived.
- Build a repertoire of coping strategies. The best thing about not being able to go anywhere is that you can’t go anywhere. I coped by drinking alcohol in the evening and taking up smoking cigarettes daily instead of socially. I was on the phone to friends and family often, sometimes up to 2 hours. I support my children by ensuring that there is always chocolate. I also began to do meditation daily, popping my headphones on and listening to something that suited my mood. Top of the play list:
- Clear Anxiety
- Detachment from Overthinking
- Let Go of Worries and Strengthen Health
- Deep Sleep Guided Meditation
- Stop Procrastination
- Confidence and Inner Power
- Don’t dwell on the future. OK, the world is a bit fucked up right now and we are living life in limbo. I swear at the people who are controlling us Victorians daily, sorry, I should have said protecting us, and I want to punch QR codes in the face. My plans for the future are to wash my face masks, and buy some more chocolate. The kids and I are doing our best to spend the money their father and I earn on takeaway to support our local economy. We are doing our best to spend all of the money, so I guess that is not dwelling on the future.
- Take up the support on offer. Thank you for the free money Australia. It really did help us to support the local economy and paid for the ciggies. Well done, you’ll get lots of tax back on the ciggies.
- Don’t use unhelpful crutches. Oh shit, there go two of my coping strategies!
- Look for the positives. I could hug our kids any time of the day. They usually liked hugs when I was in the middle of a major project, on the phone or in a Zoom meeting. I didn’t have to make school lunches for months. They usually liked lunch when I was in the middle of a major project, on the phone or in a Zoom meeting. My husband is a shift working essential worker and he left the house 9 days/nights a fortnight. It was good not to see him for a few hours and sometimes have the bed to myself. The concerts on TV were awesome. I enjoyed those cold winter nights, tucked up with a plate of pate and crispy veggies, Shiraz or Shiraz Gin in hand, “watching” it with some of my friends in video calls. We possibly saw more of each other in winter 2020 than other years.
- Look out for each other. I’m always here for a two hour phone or video call and will listen, talk over the top of you out of excitement from hearing from you, or offer you a virtual shoulder to cry on. I will hold the punching bag with the QR codes printed on it for you as you destress your day if we are allowed to have people in our homes. I can customise the punching bag to your individual preferences if you would prefer to punch something/one else.
Stay sane my friends. I wish to hug you in person. I wish to travel across Australia for a wine with my bestie. I wish that my recent plans to spend time in Melbourne had not been cancelled for me, but most of all I wish for everyone to be healthy and safe.