The announcement late last week that COVID restrictions would be eased further was welcomed by many in our school community. It’s been so good to start seeing people in-person again, but it can also feel quite strange to engage in some of the simple activities that we used to take for granted. There are a couple of ideas that I’m finding useful at the moment and would like to share.
First is an idea I heard in a presentation given by HeadSpace School’s National Manager, Kristen Douglas. It’s the notion that although we’ve been sailing the same metaphoric seas, we have been in different boats. Some have weathered the COVID lockdowns on houseboats with beacons and a crew of steady sailors. Others have been water-skiing behind speed boats. Some have paddled a solo canoe with one oar. Things haven’t been the same for everyone and I’m sure we are noticing the differences as we come into harbour.
The other idea came from Dr Rob Gordon, a clinical psychologist who works in the field of disaster recovery. In a meeting with school principals, he likened coming out of lockdowns and restrictions to the decompression process needed by deep sea divers. His view was that it’s best taken in stages. It may take a little while to get used to sharing spaces in our homes, schools, and communities. There will be readjustments to noise, personal idiosyncrasies, and differing attitudes to our times.
Even though VSV students and teachers are not together in person, we still all live, work and play in our local communities where changes are in full swing. Our primary students may not be impressed that there are times when they still need to wear masks when others don’t. I’m hopeful that the weeks in the lead-up to the holidays will allow us all to decompress and adjust to different ways of being together.
If you or a young person needs support, the following services could be of assistance:
eheadspace provides free online and telephone support and counselling to young people 12 – 25 and their families and friends
Kids Helpline Log in or phone 1800 55 1800
beyondblue Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.
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