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30-Aug-2021

covid and lockdowns - time for a mental health reset
In June 2020, Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder of the World Economic Forum, commented "The pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world". Of course, none of us could have foreseen that COVID would continue to wreak destruction on lives and communities across our planet well into 2021, disconnecting us from our families, from the freedoms of our everyday lifestyles, and from our taken-for-granted opportunities to travel, meet new people, adventure and explore. 2021, for many of us, has been a year in which our world has grown smaller, cocooning for months on end inside our homes, living our social and work lives through laptop screens and phones. For others, it’s been a year of extended work hours in manufacturing, retail, healthcare, freight delivery and all the other services that function to keep our communities going with the essentials to survive. Under such circumstances, it’s not hard for deep fatigue, irritability, worry, depressed thoughts, and a motivation-sucking vacuum to slip unnoticed into our minds and bodies, weighing us down and drowning out the small pleasures of our daily lives – the coffee we drank in a slant of early morning light, a giggle we’ve shared, the early feel of Spring, the lengthening twilight of our evenings. While the pandemic has taken away from our daily lives, it has also given something back in equal abundance – the gift of time. It's time for a reset With the lessened need for long commutes and the general busyness of our everyday pre-COVID activities, and to paraphrase Professor Schwab, this precious window of time offers each of us an opportunity to reflect on how we have been living our lives, re-imagining what we would like to change about our every day, and resetting what is needed to bring about sustained, meaningful and purposeful change to our inner and outer lives. A way to start reflecting on this is to have a think about what really matters to us in life – what we would want our legacy to be. Some questions we can ask ourselves to identify our deeper values are: How do I want to feel about myself and how do I live my life? How do I want my loved ones to feel about me? What matters to me about my physical and emotional health? What do I want to give to my community/other human beings? What kind of parent/partner/sibling/child do I want to be? What is important to me about my work life? How do I want to grow as a person? Acceptance and Commitment Therapy In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, we call this the Life Compass – a navigational tool to help us conduct our lives guided by a deep sense of stability and inner wisdom. One of the great things about reflecting on these questions is the realisation that we can all make positive changes in ourselves and in our actions now. They’re not dependent on pandemics, lockdowns, vaccination status, what we have/what we don’t have – we already have the seedlings to grow and cultivate new attitudes and behaviours in each new moment.  If you would like to consult or connect with Clodagh, feel free to download our Cyber Clinic app on the Apple Store or on Google Play. You may also head to How it Works on how to download the app. 

15-Jul-2021

5 ways to stay sane through covid-19 lockdown | online therapy
5 Ways to stay sane through uncertain times  The current global crisis that we all love to hate, Covid-19, may seem like a battle with a highly infectious virus - but seemingly, the real fight most of us are having is with our own sanity. Last year Victorians were plunged into one of the most strict lockdowns globally. As a result, the state found out in unison just how dangerous isolation can be.  With many arguing the efficacy of state-wide lockdowns, what is clear is that we may not have seen the end of them just yet. Despite the lighter side of lockdown pushing people towards new hobbies, the reality is that such a sudden change in routine can spell disaster for those with even the strongest of mental health.  Keeping “sane” is easier said than done, and there is no one task that will help you survive time spent in extended lockdown, but we have compiled five simple tasks to consider that will likely help you manage your mental health better.  1. Connect with friends and family  A problem shared is a problem halved; we are social creatures by nature, and connecting with a friend or family member and discussing what you’re going through help to alleviate stress caused by too much of your own company. Make sure you check in on friends that live alone and don’t be afraid to reach out to loved ones if you need someone to talk to.    2. Stick to a routine  The most significant disruption the Victorian lockdowns have had is to our daily routines. Despite how much we all hate Mondays, going into the office and following your morning ritual as you pour your cup of coffee and fire up your computer is a routine that keeps you sane. You may not have a very long commute now working from home, but having set times for when you get up from bed and take your breaks - even on weekends - can help maintain a sense of normalcy in such unprecedented times.    3. Exercise  We have all heard it before, but the science doesn’t change: exercising is good for your mental health. It can be hard to find the motivation to do a full workout, but something as simple as trying to break a sweat with a quick home workout or just sticking to your step goals each day is sufficient to release enough endorphins and serotonin to keep your mind and body in check.    4. Keep a journal  Given long enough time cooped up at home and the days will begin to blur into one. A great way to fight off that depressive feeling of monotony is to keep track of each day with a journal. Many, however, confuse journaling with the expectation of writing a short novel before bed, which of course, isn’t sustainable. Three quick paragraphs before bed are all you need to be able to take a brief account of the day. Make sure to note specific tasks and try to recall emotions felt through the day - remember, it’s just for you to read so you can be as honest as you like.    5. Seek professional help  If you’re feeling like the time in isolation is starting to get to you, then don’t be afraid to speak to a professional. Even if you feel like you are coping, professional help should be seen as an exercise to keep your most important muscle, your brain, healthy, rather than as a cure for when something is wrong.  Cyber Clinic has made seeking online therapy easy with their Cyber Clinic app, allowing you to have video consults with professional mental health support. Once downloaded, you can perform a short quiz to help match yourself to the right therapist for you, plus you can take advantage of up to twenty Medicare rebatable sessions within the app.  Through this time of uncertainty and rapid change, there is no expectation to get through it without some hiccups along the way. So, whether you implement just one task in this list or all of them, find the balance that helps you feel okay and maintains a sense of peace and normalcy in your day-to-day life.

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