There are things you can do to keep up your spirits and maintain a sense of hope if you feel worried about the coronavirus pandemic.
While it is absolutely normal to feel concerned about the pandemic’s impact on daily life, there are some simple steps you can take to ease your worries.
The first tip is to focus on things you can control.
For example, follow physical distancing guidelines, wash and sanitise your hands, and wear a mask in public if it is necessary where you live. These steps are all important and help protect some of the most vulnerable people in the community.
Another helpful way to cope is to look after your body and mind.
We have been living with the coronavirus for many months now and it is likely to go on for some time, so taking care of yourself can help you manage stress.
School days are busy, so it’s really important you make time every day to relax and have some fun.
If the pandemic prevents you from going to school, try to get outdoors daily for some fresh air and go for a walk if and when you can.
Keep to a routine at home, eat as healthily as possible and get to bed at a reasonable time.
If you have a digital device such as a mobile phone or tablet, leaving it to charge in another room overnight will give your mind a good rest.
While it is helpful to use devices to keep in contact with friends, being on social media can be a bit exhausting, especially if people are posting a lot of bad news or things that you find upsetting.
So don’t forget to switch off and have some breaks from screen time.
Having a chat with someone you trust if you’re having a hard time can also be very helpful.
It might be your mum, dad, an adult relative, a teacher or a counsellor at school. Tell them what’s been bothering you and let the person know whether you want advice, support or if you just want someone to listen.
It’s also important to keep a sense of hope. Scientists around the world are working hard on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments and Australians are showing great resilience* and kindness while looking after people.
Remember, we will get through this like we have during difficult times in the past.
If you’d like to find out more information on how you can cope during the coronavirus pandemic, visit:
kidshelpline.com.au or call 1800 55 1800
beyondblue.org.au or call 1300 22 4636
Dr Grant Blashki is a GP* and works with Beyond Blue, which provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health.
- resilience: ability to recover quickly from difficulty
- GP: stands for general practitioner, who has training across a wide range of health areas
- Is it normal to feel concerned during the pandemic?
- What’s the first tip for helping to ease your worries. Give three examples of things to do.
- What tip about charging your device is mentioned?
- Give three examples of people you could talk to if you’re having a hard time.
- How would you contact Kids Helpline?
LISTEN TO THIS STORY
1. Simplify and beautify
Simplify the tips for managing your worries during the coronavirus pandemic into a dot point list. Leave out the supporting information and examples given and just focus on each of the main ideas provided.
Then, choose one of the dot points and create a colourful graphic poster to display to remind yourself, your family or your classmates about this helpful strategy.
Time: allow 40 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Health and Physical Education; Visual Arts
Reflect on how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting on you and write a journal entry about how you are feeling about what is happening. Think about whether you are already implementing any of the ideas in this story or if adopting some of them could be helpful for you. If you need more support, contact one of the organistations listed.
Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Health and Physical Education
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many connectives as you can find in pink. Discuss if these are being used as conjunctions, or to join ideas and create flow.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Share one thing that helps you feel better in worrying times.
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.