Tip of the Isoberg
The collective sigh can be felt across Victoria. With 1 in 50 of us currently testing positive to Covid, and many of us returning from long awaited trips to see friends and family only to be back in isolation indefinitely, 2022 has started with a fairly aggressive kick in our soft bits (I feel like no one has the energy for hard bits atm). Our small businesses are struggling (again) and everything – from our kid’s playdates to where we get our morning coffee – is in question. We are all longing to return to ‘normal’, where we can (consensually) hug strangers, dine where and with whom we want, let our kids run fearless and free, and not have to resort to having frozen raspberries on our morning oats because there are no frozen blueberries, AGAIN.
This shit is cooked, basically. It is one big pile of Covid-infected crap, and we are all about thigh deep in it at this point. I am certainly not one to promote toxic positivity (obviously), but rather acknowledge the rage and frustration we all feel…and then bloody get on with it. It’s the ‘it’ that I’m actually wanting to address here, now that I’ve gotten the initial rant out of the way. For many of us, isolating (again) is the tip of an iceberg (isoberg?) that seems insurmountable at present. We may be ill ourselves, or forced to isolate due to other’s symptoms. Either way, it’s not all Emily in Paris marathons and craft-er-noons. The sourdough baking and Spoonville’s of our early lockdowns seem a distant memory, and being encouraged to ‘thrive’ is met with an aggressive middle finger. So I’m not gonna be that person. What I am going to suggest are some simple, daily habits / survival strategies to implement into your day that will ideally keep you from the brink.*
Something for today:
Think of ONE thing you can do today that will make things suck a bit less. That might be washing your hair, or wearing a favourite item of clothing, spending some quality time with your cat, or FaceTiming a friend or family member. Think of as many of your favourite things as you can and create yourself a ‘sensory space’ – include scents and sounds that you find calming, and a mindful activity that soothes you. (My SS involves a blue velvet armchair and pink hibiscus soy candle, in a room full of plants and cat ornaments.)
Something for tomorrow:
Plan something within your means that will provide a positive distraction for the next day or week. I feel we’ve all done the baking thing to death, but trying a new recipe is always a good time. Plan a furniture rearrange, or sort out that cupboard you’ve always been meaning to sort. Plan a drinks catch up with friends over Zoom, or order a new book or puzzle online. Having something to look forward to, even if it’s trivial AF, can make all the difference to our overall mood (I just ordered a new flavour of protein powder – winning).
Something for someone else:
It’s really easy to get super caught up in our own little bubble of woe. Whether we are sick or not, isolating is incredibly, well, isolating. Taking the focus off ourselves can be both refreshing and rewarding. Check in with someone else in a similar plight and see if you can do anything from afar that will help them, even if it’s just a daily message or chat. We can use this adversity as an opportunity to strengthen our relationships with others, if we want to. We can also completely shut off from the world and build ourselves a fort out of the couch cushions, from which to watch Emily in Paris, which is an equally viable option.
Bottom line is, we can and will get through this, and we don’t need to feel as though we have achieved anything other than SURVIVING at this point. Be creative with your own survival strategies, and share with us if you have a good one – we are here for it.
*If you need support through isoltation, we have a team of therapists at Thea Baker Wellbeing and we have IMMEDIATE availability – please reach out to us at: email@example.com / 03 9077 8194. If you are struggling right now and need someone to talk too please reach out to LIFELINE on 13 11 14 or call 000.