Lockdown Stress

Like most people in NSW, I tune in to the daily 11am press conference, hoping that things are getting better; alas, for now, they are not.

Yesterday, Dr Murray Wright, NSW Chief Psychiatrist, spoke for 4 minutes and what he said should be amplified far and wide.

One key point that he made is that “the lockdown is probably the most sustained and serious stress that most of us are going to face in our lifetimes.” 

He reminded us that there are simple and straightforward things that we need to keep front of mind on a daily basis. First and foremost, have a plan to manage stress and monitor it. Create structure. 

He suggested that we share what we are doing; so here’s a little bit of my daily structure.

I go for a walk in my local park at both sunrise and sunset. 

As I walk, I notice nature and people, I notice the cold or heat on my face and bring to mind how lucky I am to live in such a wonderful city, feeling gratitude for all the good people and things in my life. 

I also remind myself that I can’t control the sun; it rises, it sets, and I can’t control that. Just like I can’t control the case numbers, the vaccination rates, business conditions, other people’s actions or the border restrictions. Reminding myself twice daily about what I can and cannot control brings comfort and acceptance.

I breathe fresh air deep, and as I exhale whisper the ancient adage “this too shall pass”.

Please watch Dr Murray Wright’s short talk – I’ll post a link in the comments. 

Reach out for help if you need it – for professional support, BeyondBlue is a wonderful organisation with great resources both online and over the telephone.

If you are able to, offer help to others: R U OK day is less than a month away, but you don’t need a special day to ask someone, R U OK?

What’s one of your strategies for creating daily structure at these times?

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