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  • COVID-19 Lockdown & how to cope

    A place for community rundowns, special events and announcements from Counselling Online forums facilitation team.
    Lady Bug
    Community Builder
    Posts: 123
    Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:49 am

    COVID-19 Lockdown & how to cope

    Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:39 pm

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    For all of us in Australia, we have experienced what it was like to be “locked down” in isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, none more so than Victorians who are still currently going through a very strict stage 4 lockdown. COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down. All of the things we’re used to doing each week — going to school and work, catching up with friends and family, going out for dinner, playing sport, going on holidays — have changed.

    The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges for people with substance use disorders and in recovery. The stress from social isolation and other COVID-19 related life changes can lead to or worsen substance use and misuse. Some people may find themselves drinking or using substances more to cope with anxiety, negativity, stress and our changing environment. While it’s normal to feel anxious, overwhelmed, confused, sad or even bored, it is important to take the time to care for ourselves, and focus on recovery.

    Want to know some things you can do to take care of your mental health and focus on recovery during lock down? Keep reading :D

    Look after your physical health
    • It might seem like a no-brainer, but exercise is crucial for our health. As well as boosting immunity, exercise can have a calming effect, keeping our minds clear and focused, and our anxiety contained. Try to schedule in your exercise each day, depending on the time allowed out, and make it into a daily routine. Public places may be closed for now, but there is nothing like a brisk walk or jog to clear the mind! For more tips on staying physically active while following social distancing regulations click https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-a ... strictions
    Be aware of negative thoughts and don’t give them too much power
    Just because we’re thinking something, doesn’t always mean it’s true. When you notice yourself worrying a lot, you can challenge your negative thoughts by asking yourself what a friend would say in the same situation, or ask yourself what evidence do you have that you ‘won’t cope or can’t cope’? Whenever you recognise a negative thought, try to balance it with a realistic thought.

    Learn something new
    Have you wanted to get into arts and crafts or fixing up an old car or cooking? Now’s a great time to make a start. Finding a new hobby will also help in your recovery journey. You can also watch or read something uplifting. YouTube has great free online tutorials for pretty much everything.

    Develop new routines
    We’re used to having routines to guide our days, so when so much seems out of our control, establishing some structure in our days will help to provide stability and a ‘new normal’. If you are stuck in the pattern of reaching for the bottle of wine when 4 o’clock hits, why not create a new routine and go for a walk/ sit outside in the sunshine/ play with your kids or pets when 4 o’clock hits. Get into a new routine and you will soon eliminate the old patterns

    Stay connected
    It can make a huge difference when we share our worries with others, and connect with other people who are supportive. Try to stay connected to supportive people in your life so you feel less isolated and lonely.

    Seek support
    It’s ok to ask for help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, seek professional support. If you aren’t sure where to start, there are lots of great online and phone chat support services available. Head to Health is a good place to begin https://headtohealth.gov.au/, and Beyond Blue has launched a dedicated coronavirus online and phone support service.

    If you need some support around your substance use you can;
    • Chat to a counsellor at Counselling Online, they can link you in with services that you may find helpful
    • Check out some helpful online webinars:
    • Contact the National Alcohol and Drug Hotline for free and confidential advice 1800 250 015


    What sort of impact has isolation had on your substance use?
    Is there anything that has helped you during isolation? Feel free to share some ideas
    2 x
    User avatar
    tacocat
    Community Builder
    Posts: 32
    Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:54 pm

    Re: COVID-19 Lockdown & how to cope

    Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:10 pm

    This is a great topic that is impacting so many people. I know I've been struggling a lot with lockdown fatigue of late.
    As mentioned in the post, "Learn something new" has been a bit of a life saver for me that has also helped develop healthier routines. I've been having a go at trying to cook new dishes that I have been putting off because they were either too hard, or I really thought I couldn't do a decent job of recreating.
    Lamb roasts have improved dramatically and the journey of thai cooking has only just begun.

    Hope everyone else is doing ok...
    0 x
    Lady Bug
    Community Builder
    Posts: 123
    Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:49 am

    Re: COVID-19 Lockdown & how to cope

    Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:03 pm

    Absolutely @tacocat
    I'm guessing you are in Vic as well? This lock down has been incredibly difficult, and I think we are all getting so tired.
    I love that you have been improving your lamb roasts! I too have taken up baking.... lots of slices, brownies, cakes being made. Maybe not the healthiest during lock down, but I am having a lot of fun doing it!
    Fingers crossed we get some normalcy back soon, but for now lets spend this time trying different things. Because who knows, we may never get this much free time again!
    0 x
    AnnAnn
    Community Builder
    Posts: 8
    Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:41 pm

    Re: COVID-19 Lockdown & how to cope

    Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:04 am

    I'm glad you brought up this topic @Lady Bug ! As an outgoing person, lockdown and these restrictions were definitely tough for me. I miss giving people hugs, dining out, healthy gatherings with friends, playing badminton with my team,... But lately, I've decided to stop winging about these restrictions and start looking on the brighter side of things, adjusting to the new normal. Since the lockdown, I've been taking up new routines, cooking up a storm, take time to actually make some delicious beef stocks (it took 8 hours!) rather than buying the packaged ones, did a mini project of turning my apartment's balcony into a mini garden, the green pleases my eyes :lol: , learning to make soy wax candles using handcrafted oils (TIPS!: For those who are struggling with restless sleep or suffering from insomnia, perhaps try out some soy candles with relaxing scents like greentea & lemongrass, black orchid,... i found them super helpful to help me fall asleep much naturally and easier ;) ) There are great local businesses that have amazing hand-crafted soy candles!

    The great thing about these new hobbies is that they don't help me 'kill time' but helped me to make my time more valuable and meaningful! Ya know, those feelings of learning and creating something new, and being able to share the achievements on this amazing forum with you guys. Looking forward to hearing your stories, vent it out! share along! happy or sad, whatever it is, let it out, tell your stories xoxo!
    2 x

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