blog: pandemic - a portal for change by gabby
How to Deal (during COVID): Pandemic: a Portal for Change
By Gabby (headspace Adelaide Community Engagement Officer)
Hello there! I’m Gabby (can be seen in a little square above!) and I’m a part of the Community Engagement Team at headspace Adelaide.
Welcome to my third blog of a series I like to call How to Deal (during COVID). If you haven’t read the first or second ones; make sure you go and do that after for important tips about internet safety and trying to be positive (shameless plug)!
I moved to Adelaide over 5 years ago now, and I love it. Moving to Adelaide, albeit very hard at the time (picture me ringing both my mum and dad crying every day for like a month), has been the best thing I have ever done. Adelaide has everything I want and need here, except one BIG thing… my family!
I come from a big family (somewhat untraditional but often the norm these days), with 4 siblings plus myself, mum, dad and step mum. We are spread all throughout Australia, one in Canberra, two in Melbourne, me in Adelaide and the rest in Tasmania but this is fine because we are often bouncing between States and visiting each other. However, as we all know this is not currently possible. There were sadly no Easter family visits as was planned.
I know a lot of people are in the same boat, or even have family or friends in regional SA that they can’t visit right now because of physical distancing guidelines. Or those vulnerable like our grandparents or people with suppressed immune systems, as these are the groups most at risk if they were to be exposed to COVID-19! It’s funny how it isn’t until someone tells you that you can’t visit someone or go somewhere that you realise how much you want to or how much you miss them.
Actually, not funny, it sucks! But this is our new normal and what we need to abide by for now so that in the near future we can visit and hug our loved ones again. Which is why it is so important to stay connected virtually with these people. I’m going on purposeful walks daily where I ring a different family member each time and check in with them. I couldn’t recommend these things more highly, as it’s the closest we can get to being with them at the moment!
I’m now having weekly Family Facetimes and it’s often the highlight of my Sunday, (or even week!), with my dad struggling to figure out how to turn on the silly filters (please view funny photo). We’re all giggling and it’s great to see one another doing okay! Last week I said:
‘Hey, why weren’t we doing this before Coronavirus?’
Although we could travel to one another before COVID-19, we were still all living in different States and were ringing each other separately to check in. Group calls amongst our family wasn’t the norm, but now they are and we aren’t looking back!
This pandemic has created a different routine for my family to communicate and I’m embracing it. So how has COVID-19 made you change or shift your routine in potentially a positive way?
I want to leave you with this quote I saw recently and with the reminder that yes, it is tough right now (& it’s completely okay to not be okay) but please try and look at the light where you can. We must look for positives and opportunity during this darker period of our lives.
“When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters – one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.– John F. Kennedy
I’m going to be adding to this blog series How to Deal (during COVID) on the weekly, with different topics and tips on how to get yourself and the ones you love through this not so normal time.
So as always; stay tuned….
When should I get help?
If you ever feel unable to cope because of overwhelming or intense emotions, or if you have any thoughts of harming yourself, then ask for help immediately.
National 24/7 crisis services
Lifeline: 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 or suicidecallbackservice.org.au
beyondblue: 1300 224 636 or beyondblue.org.au
Additional youth support services
headspace: visit headspace.org.au to find your nearest centre or call headspace on 1800 650 890
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 or kidshelpline.com.au
SANE Australia: 1800 187 263 or sane.org