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  • Writer's pictureMichaela Rizqallah


You'd have to be living under a rock to not have been affected to some extent by the pandemic that has swept across the globe.

It is a confusing, worrying and stressful time. In one way or another, if not many ways, we have all individually and collectively been impacted. Job loss, school upheaval, financial hits, chaos at the supermarkets and the RELENTLESS media coverage that seems to bang on and on about the crisis.

It feels almost inescapable and yet all we want to do is escape it, make it go away and try to get on with life.

The mental load of the constant media coverage is immense to say the least. No matter where you go there is not escaping the weight of COVID19. The news, social media, advertisements and government notifications. Every time we go to a website there it is sitting at the top of the the page, a reminder that COVID19 is 'causing delays', 'we are doing the best we can' etc. When we enter a hospital, a pharmacy, a shop of any description we are reminded with floor markings, tape, community notices to be careful, wash our hands and maintain social distancing.

We can't escape the intensity of this pandemic. It's heavy, it's huge and it is vitally important that we do act responsibly and with caution. But the fact that we can't escape it and catch a mental break is exhaustion and people are reaching their tipping point.

So how can we mitigate the mental load of this pandemic? These strategies may seem simple, but they really do work.

  • Take a media break. The world will keep spinning and the news will continue to roll and you will be ok if you switch off for a few minutes, a few days or even all together.

  • Take up the practice of deep breathing for 5 minutes a day. This will go a long way to calming down your nervous system.

  • Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can and that is all you can do.

  • Take a moment to realise that you can not control the pandemic but you can choose how you respond to it.

  • Use the time you would typically listen to the news or look at social media to listen to some groovy tunes, a podcast or a talking book.

  • Choose to enjoy your day by taking a relaxing stroll, play with your pet, read to your kids or tell some jokes. A good laugh is a great stress reliever.

As always if you need to talk, reach out to a supportive friend or family member, find a counsellor or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

xx Michaela R

Life is for living, not existing.

Michaela is lead counsellor at LIFE : ENHANCED THERAPIES, Counselling Service, Bundaberg. She offers general counselling face to face and online and has a deep passion to see people get the most out of their life, find balance and connect with the person they want to be. She loves helping people with mental illness work towards health and wellbeing life.

FB page @ LIFE : Enhanced Therapies, Bundaberg. Registered, professional counsellor

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