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16 July 2021

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How’s your Headspace? Lockdown Edition By Heather Bailes

With Greater Sydney now several weeks into lockdown, and with the announcement of an extension till at least 30th July, now is the time we really need to be checking on ourselves, and each other.

Everyone processes feelings differently, and it’s important to understand that there is no right or wrong when it comes to your feelings. How you feel today, may be very different to tomorrow’s feelings, or even how you are feeling in 3 hours from now. And that’s Ok!

We have seen Melbourne go through an extended lockdown that exceeded 111 days, and there is always the possibility Melbourne, and every region for that matter, ending up in a snap lockdown at very short notice.

There are things you can personally do that might help you navigate through the coming days, weeks, and months.

  • Stay Connected – by maintaining social contact. These can be video chats, phone calls, online groups, or chats with neighbours (while ensuring we are maintaining social distancing)
  • New Routines – We’re used to having routines to guide our days. When everything seems out of our control, building some new structure into our days will help us to provide some stability and give us back a feeling of some control.

This is particularly challenging for families adjusting to home learning. Try to create new routines as a family to help separate ‘work/school time’ and ‘family time’.

  • Think about the parts of your usual routine you value the most and find ways to make these part of your day — such as having lunch with colleagues via video chat or finding an online gym class.
  • Take Breaks – Make sure you take some time just for you, even if it is just a few minutes to take some deep breaths and step outside into the fresh air.

Plan your breaks and use them to do something that makes you feel calm and happy.

  • Information Overload – information is important, however too much information can make you feel even worse. 

It’s important to stay up to date with the facts, but constantly tuning in to news about COVID-19 can be overwhelming, confusing and can increase anxiety.

Seeking Support

It’s normal to have ups and downs, and it is important to talk about how you’re feeling with family and friends. In times like these, they are likely experiencing similar feelings.

However, not everyone has family or friends that they are able to discuss these feelings with. If you want to talk to someone else, but aren’t sure where to start, there online and phone chat support services available. And don’t worry, you can access these resources anonymously, and without fear of judgement or prejudice.

Head to Health

Head to Health can help you find digital mental health services from some of Australia’s most trusted mental health organisations.

Provided by the Australian Department of Health, Head to Health brings together apps, online programs, online forums, and phone services, as well as a range of digital information resources.

Embrace Multicultural Heath 

Mental health is complex and diverse. It is even harder to understand when it’s not explained in your own language. You can access information that is translated into a range of languages. Embrace Multicultural Mental Health (the Embrace Project) is run by Mental Health Australia and provides a national focus on mental health, for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue are providing information, advice, and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

[*Heather Bailes is the recruitment specialist at Work+Stay, an initiative of Settlement Services International [SSI]. Work+Stay is a social enterprise wholly focused on making it easy for regional employers to attract and secure the workforce they need and supporting those newcomers to stay for the long term.] 

You can find Heather on LinkedIn here:


Heather Bailes