With the world in the grips of a global pandemic — coronavirus (COVID-19) — individual and family relationships are being tested like never before. So, it is important to consider your own mental health in order to support those around you including children, grandparents, friends and colleagues.
This four-part Mental Fitness series is designed to help you think through the difference between working from home and working at home during a crisis, navigating your new temporary work environment, what to do if someone you love is struggling throughout this experience, and helping kids who are also now completing school from home and not being home schooled.
Schooling At Home
Like many of you, I am navigating having children at home doing schooling online. Some have said this is not home schooling, a better term is 'crisis schooling'.
I am actually a teacher, as well as a psychologist, and let me reassure you, being home all day like this is NOT our normal!
Children are grieving right now. Honour that grief process. Expect them to act out. Expect them to not want to get out of bed. Expect them to not have words to express their inner turmoil. Give yourself a lot of GRACE! Some of you have lost jobs or your spouses have lost jobs. Those who are working might be afraid of going out.
So, I have gathered all the best tips I could find for you.
How do you navigate everyone being at home, in a confined space, for most of the day?
As both a psychologist and a teacher I am navigating this terrain, too – trying to work, my husband is at home, as are my children doing uni, high school and primary school. I feel like I am constantly changing hats between being a parent, a teacher to my youngest, delivering live uni lectures via Zoom, and consulting online as a psychologist. And, you will have your own hats.
I realise we will all face different challenges and joys in the dynamics of couples, housemates, or parents and children living together so constantly. This episode explores how we might we also contribute to each others’ mental fitness during this unprecedented time?
Working At Home — 11 Practical Tips
I read someone’s Facebook post this week which said this isn’t working from home — it's working at home, during a crisis. I think that is an important distinction to make.
So, how do we stay sane and mentally fit while working at home during a global crisis — the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? You may find yourself even more isolated than you have ever felt before or perhaps you have kids crawling up on your lap or teens constantly rummaging in your drawers while you’re on a Zoom meeting?
The foundation for getting through this is to remind yourself this will pass — it is not permanent, there will be an end to this! — and be kind to yourself and family when people have days when they’re a little frayed.
Maintaining Good Mental Health
What do you do if you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety? A study about empowering families during a healthcare crisis recommends the C.A.R.E. approach, which I explain in this podcast.
It’s normal to have days when you feel overwhelmed or anxious about what has changed. We are collectively grieving what was familiar and what we had planned — weddings, jobs, school events, sharing the joy of a new baby with grandparents...
Perhaps you are someone with, or have a loved one with, an existing mental health challenges? Or you have recently lost your job and this has brought about anxiety that you haven’t experienced before?
Love This Podcast!
This is a really helpful podcast to listen to during this time. I needed to hear it!