Today marks the first day of online learning for all Victorian students – and many families are in the process of figuring out exactly what these new restrictions mean for them – what it means for the family practically, financially and what it means for each individual as we get further and further away from things we strongly associate with our identity – our work, our hobbies, our friends, our sporting teams, our volunteer work and so on.
Lockdown makes our worlds feel small and we have to be pro-active about staying positive and staying balanced at this time.
I believe there are two areas we need to look at in order to do this.
Identity and Purpose
This was the theme of my Berwick Grammar Assembly this week – talking about how we so often measure and define ourselves by the things that we do and the roles we play. This Stage 4 lockdown takes us away from many of these. What we need to do to combat the very understandable grief about this, is to remember that who we are lies at the core of our very being – it is yes made up of what we do, but more importantly about our beliefs and values. And these cannot be changed by external forces easily.
What is happening to us right now is unprecedented in our lifetimes. And anything in a full scope of emotions is perfectly normal.
Maybe one of the best ways through this time is to take a leaf out of the book of our ancestors and work together to get through it. A sense of community can be very powerful and important in terms of feeling connected and feeling like we are recognised and we belong.
With such strong values, our school community can provide this for us. We are a place where we know we help and share with each other. Let’s continue to do so over these next six weeks – and this can be a new identity and purpose that will assist us to make it through the challenges ahead.
Your Wellbeing Puzzle
I have been marvelling for months that my lockdown leisure activity turned out to be puzzles. I’ve always been a reader, but somehow the addition of puzzles to my lockdown routine added a strategic element but also a quiet mindfulness.
I’ve been considering how a puzzle might reflect the ways we need to think about our own wellbeing over the coming weeks.
Part of successfully putting a puzzle together is knowing what the big picture looks like. That’s how you know where the pieces fit. Our wellbeing is much like this – we have to be aware of the big picture of what works for us.
What are the things that you know you can do to alleviate stress? What works for you?
The daily habits of the Wellbeing Hive can provide a guideline for those of us to like to tick things off to be sure.
What might your answers be to the questions above? Knowing this gives you many of the pieces to that wellbeing puzzle. These are the things that work for you – the things you can consciously draw on to maintain balance, alleviate stress and feel inspired or connected. You might also like to read one of my recent Wellbeing Hive articles on the power of Purpose at this time in our lives as well (the Berwick Grammar Wellbeing Theme this term).
You also have to know what pieces DON’T fit into your puzzle, things you need to try to stop making time and space for. What causes stress in your life?
There are some very big answers to that question that might be outside of your control. And I know many families will my genuinely doing it hard financially and in terms of the supervision and motivation of young people right now. We may not be able to change these things – but if we get on top of the smaller things, this might assist your management of the bigger ones.
Small things we can control right now might look like:
You might also find great support from this Wellbeing Hive article, penned by one of our School Psychologists.
The most successful people are not those who get it all right during difficult times – but the ones who know themselves and can manage their own emotions as best they can.
Covid19 will likely be the great challenge of our lives – but it is one we can face.
Remember to be kind and patient with each other. Talk – don’t hold in. Remember what I always tell my students, asking for help is an indicator of motivation towards success, not of failure.
Photo by Sharon Snider from Pexels