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20 March 2020

Keep Calm, Stay Wise & Be Kind

Today is International Day of Happiness! But during this time of change and uncertainty, our mental health may not be at the forefront of our minds.

This year the theme for International Day of Happiness is “Keep Calm, Stay Wise and Be Kind”, so here are a few tips to help you and your loved ones cope with the stress caused by the pandemic.

Keep Calm

There are lots of things outside our control. Let’s remember to breathe and focus on what really matters so we can respond constructively.

Uncertainty is a natural part of life. There will always be things that are outside of our control, but what we CAN control is how we respond to what life throws at us.

Many will be feeling anxiety about COVID-19 (the Coronavirus), but we can reduce anxiety by focusing on the here and now - using practices like mindfulness and meditation.

Try this mini meditation if you’re feeling anxious (see image). It’s a quick and easy method you can use at work, in school, or even in the car before you start driving.

Meditating and clearing the mind of thoughts can be difficult at first, but with practice it becomes easier.

You can also find some tips on how to reduce stress here.

Stay Wise (and Informed)

Making wise choices helps everyone. Let’s choose positive actions that support our wellbeing and help others to do the same.

There is lots of misinformation floating around social media and the internet about Coronavirus, so make sure you get any information you seek from trusted sources, like the Department of Health.

While we might be thinking about how we can protect ourselves and our families from getting sick, it’s also important to think about how we can reduce the risk of infecting others, if you are showing any symptoms.

Even if you don’t have the Coronavirus, if you have a common cold or flu it is important that you take measures to prevent others from catching it. Staying healthy and maintaining a strong immune system will help us to stay safe from the Coronavirus.

One more thing you should keep an eye on is how your community is dealing with COVID-19 and what measures they are putting into place to help stop the spread. Keep up to date with procedures and changes at your work, school, council, and any services you receive (hairdressing, dentistry, counselling, etc).

To learn about the changes to our service delivery and visitor guidelines at CatholicCare, click here.

Be Kind

We’re all in this together, even when we’re forced apart. Let’s stay connected and reach out to help others who may be in need.

Over the past few weeks supermarket shelves have been left bare from panic buying. This panic buying has left vulnerable families and individuals in the lurch, as many will have been unable to stockpile resources due to financial hardship or physical inability to do so. 

Read our article on kindness vs fear to learn more about this. Here you’ll also find tips on how you can spread kindness in your community during this challenging time. One thing you could consider, for example, is leaving a “help yourself” box/table of food or sanitary items outside your house for neighbours and locals.

Please also keep in mind that others will be feeling the same panic and anxiety that you may be feeling. Remember to show kindness to others, spread smiles, and when you notice someone upset or anxious, ask them if they’re okay.

Extra resources 

International Day of Happiness have produced an engaging and thoughtful “Coping Calendar” which you can download and print for use in your home, school or at work.

Each day provides a little ‘to-do’ item which can help to reduce stress, increase happiness and help you cope with any challenging thoughts and feelings during this time of uncertainty.

 

Liz Gellel - Communications Coordinator

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