Coronavirus and suicide

The rate of suicide has gone up due to the Coronavirus. All over the world the rate is really high. In America its really high. People are locked in their homes and are isolated from their friends.

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Staying at home is mentally challenging. Teens are challenged by staying home and getting on top of this. In the UK a teen called Emily died in March. In Victoria, there has been a 33% increase on the number of young people that present to hospitals from this time last year.

Also job losses are another reason for suicide.

How you can help

  • Check in on the person online. It can be on Facebook, What’s app, Instagram etc
  • Send them a few gifts to show that you care
  • Encourage them to talk about mental health issues. During this time they would be cooped up inside and they would want to talk.
  • If you can, buy from small businesses. During this time they are feeling the pinch and will have some mental health problems of their own. Buying that thing and writing good things about them will show that you support them. It could even make someone’s day.
  • Complimenting someone on their outfit and their dog would make their day
  • Checking in on your neighbors once in a while can really boost someone’s mood.

It has just been announced that the State Government in Melbourne will be spending more on mental health due to this pandemic.

Just remember we are all in this together and we will come out on the other side a lot stronger.

Learning patience

I am one of the most impatient people that you’ll come across. Patience is a skill that health coaches need when dealing with people. I can never exercise patience at the moment.

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We live in times where people are always impatient such as big bosses for the big offices that want everything done now. Impatience raises our stress levels and that’s not good.

During the Coronavirus times, people have had to learn about being patient and not rushing things.

So I started a patience journal online. I got on top of my impatience by not being angry at things that I cannot control such as the Coronavirus. I had to learn about impatience first. Impatience is the desire to act without thinking. 

Learning patience takes a while.  You have to move at different paces. We need to learn patience by practicing pausing into awareness.  

In other words you need to slow down and be mindful and present. 

Situations for which patience is a must (from essential life skills site):

✔ Reaching most goals
✔ Losing weight
✔ Having a baby
✔ Bodybuilding
✔ Becoming a professional career person such as
    doctor, lawyer, engineer
✔ Becoming a top athlete
✔ Becoming a virtuoso in any musical field
✔ The healing of any wounds or illnesses
✔ Getting over loss or tragedy

The benefits of being patient are:

Less stress

More time to think and control yourself in difficult situations

Better understanding of empathy and emotions

Learn and appreciate the process of growth and growth mindset

Aged care and the Coronavirus: is the Government in Victoria to blame for this mess?

Right now the aged care sector in Victoria is in a mess. We have about 450 aged care homes in Victoria and over 900 people in those facilities have Coronavirus, some of which are staff. Staff have to go home to isolate but what about looking after the residents?

The government is partly to blame because they did not provide enough PPE or the staff early on in the pandemic. The Government could have also let the elderly go home and live with their children. The adult children are very concerned for their parents.

The government has provided some ADF support but it is too little too late. The staffing levels at some of these nursing homes were terrible.

I also think that the management of this sector is to blame for not providing enough food for people. A few of the residents that were isolating were neglected. At St Basil’s there has also been some miscommunication between the staff and the resident’s family. They would say that someone is fine but in actual fact, they are not. The management at some of these aged care facilities should have learned from Syndey’s Newmarch house.

Lets hope that the aged care sector gets better within time. It is devastating when people die. People should have been fed properly and looked after as well as being assisted within a timely manner.

Meditation and Creativity

Meditation is useful during Coronavirus times as many people are stressing about everything. But of course many of the yoga studios are closed in Melbourne due to Stage four restrictions so people go online to find some meditation videos.

Just one example of meditation that you can do at home.

Meditation is always fun and there is this new place called A-Space in Collingwood. It is peaceful and you can find your inner peace.

Meditation is for everyone not just those select few.

Many people do not meditate because they can’t find the time, subject or place to meditate in. You can meditate in whatever way is comfortable for you. And whatever time. Just let your mind flow. The meditations usually take about 10-15 mins of your day.

I just do it in my room with my door closed at the best time. There are many guided meditations online and your gym might offer some free ones on their site for their members.

Mental Health in Victoria

Mental health in Victoria is a lot harder now that we are in this second lockdown. We are not in this all together. We are all going different places and that’s hard for most people to cope with.

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Victoria is the only state with the hardest of restrictions and that is tough for both businesses and individuals.

A recent article says that 100 more people have lost their lives due to mental health issues during the Coronavirus crisis. Last Thursday it was announced that we are in a recession with people on Jobseeker to be hardest hit by this pandemic. Work will be hard to find even after the pandemic. Now we have stage four which is the harshest lockdown ever. We cannot exercise for more than one hour a day and we can only leave the house once.

Mirage News said that about 300000 Young Victorians sought help online from and other services ever since the start of the pandemic.

What we should be doing to combat mental health issues?

  • Look out for each other. Check-in from time to time to see how that person is doing. This can be done online or over the phone.
  • Keep up with the exercise. Just because you’re in lockdown there is no excuse.
  • Do yoga on most days of the week
  • If you have joined a gym pre-pandemic why not see what they are doing for their members.

Running during the pandemic

Running during the pandemic is a bit harder as you can only go to certain areas. Many races have gone virtual. Many countries have their own rules on running and where you can run, due to the COVID19. They don’t want the disease to spread.

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And yes running during the pandemic is fine so long as you stay 1.5meters from people. Make sure that you are not sick. Running is good for mental health as is any form of exercise and with the gyms closed in many parts of the world running is the way to go

Coping strategies

Runners will have to find ways to cope with this. One way of coping with it is to join a Facebook group. There are many Facebook groups and there they have online running challenges.

How do you cope?

You just go with the flow and explore what’s in your local neighbourhood. I live in Essendon so I am allowed to go there. There are many places to explore around there. I am in postcode 3040.

I just did one 14km run and it was all fine. Am training for a half marathon in October. I love exploring new places so I joined a group called Essendon Good Karma network on Facebook and here they provided me with some good tips, mainly in the name of pictures of places.

I have to avoid large gatherings which always happen in the park.

Wearing a mask during a run is not mandatory but make sure to carry one for after your run. Or wear a scarf or buff as one.

You’ll get fined if you run outside of your boundary.

You don’t need material things to keep you happy

As the Coronavirus pandemic goes on and finances dries up we should stop and think about the material goods that we buy. Everytime we buy something and we only wear it (or use it) once, it either goes to the op shop or dumped when you move house.

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Therefore it is money wasted.

As soon as the lockdown restrictions eased last time in Melbourne people went crazy at Chadstone and went on a huge shopping spree. Not only did they waste money on items they also put the worker’s lives at risk.

So I ask the question, do you need material things to keep you happy? The answer is no. You need money for some part of your happiness but most of it is free. We did do the 31 day of Buddha challenge and Tiny Buddha shows that if we do a little thing or two to brighten someone’s day that is much better. It could be complimenting someone on their mask or outfit or helping a charity. We rely too much on material goods and not on emotional needs. A compliment to someone doesn’t go astray. Nor does patting other people’s dogs outside. If you pat someone’s dogs outside it shows them you care about them and it would brighten their day. Their dogs would be happy and so would you. Seeing dogs is therapeutic for some people

Next time you go to the shops, think about this: do I really need that item? If not just walk out. That item can wait.

How the lockdowns have impacted us all

We write about how the lockdowns have impacted us all. We got the inspiration for this article from the Baker Institute who says that the lockdowns have impacted their research and it has delayed everything. They were preparing for this a few weeks before the whole of Australia was locked down.

But then comes the lockdowns and we’re all forced to work at home. That meant that research and everything was delayed. In most cases it cost them money.

But then during the lockdown, many businesses had to rethink their plans for opening up and working. Fitness Australia has been running these live COVID Series on Facebook to help gyms reopen in a COVID safe way.

Now in Victoria we are in the second lockdown and we learned some lessons from the first lockdown. Lessons about not touching your money and not buying things that you need did not sit well with me in the last lockdown. So during this lockdown, I will be supporting the economy big and small so that we can reopen with wages and not that many job losses. We can reopen without having so much debt which we have got into the first time around. Lately, I have been sharing some of my favorite restaurant posts in hopes that they will survive the second lockdown.

We now have to find a new normal and that can take some time for us to get used to. Working at home could be a new normal for a little while until a vaccine comes.

Managing anxiety throughout Coronavirus times

We talk about managing anxiety for autistic during the Coronavirus pandemic when we are all in lockdown and the carer might not be there to assist you.

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I know of several friends who are autistic and would have a hard time managing anxiety. I know of one who misses the city so much. Pre pandemic he used to visit the city every day. Now we are in a lockdown.

For normal people anxiety is not such a huge issue for them. But for people who are autistic and cannot access their carers it can be. Not seeing extended family and friends can be a lot harder for them. Even seeing the high numbers can be a bit of a challenge.

Yenn Perkis has shared some of her strategies with us:

She says that some deep breathing strategies should be used. Meditation is one such useful strategy.

Mindful body awareness is another way of dealing with the anxiety of the challenge. Mindfulness helps as it is a meditation technique for anxiety and there are many apps to help with that. Headspace is awesome

Distract yourself with various fun things to do at home (or work for that matter). I know we’re allowed to leave the house for exercise. If you can do that, explore various paths in your local suburb/postcode (you can be the Karen of Brighton in this instance).

Seek help if you really need it. There are online services that counsel people with autism. Do have a look on to find your local one and remember that they can do telehealth in times of Coronavirus. Talk to friends online and seek help from your family. Your carer might be able to help if you have one.

This is one of ours. Try and stick to your routine as much as you can as this might help with your anxiety. Things are always changing on a daily basis but if you have a routine, it might help try and settle you.

Crisis Fatigue: are we emotionally overwhelmed

WebMD reports that in the US cases are surging and more and more people are going out in droves. The same thing has happened in Australia and then we have gone into a much harder lockdown in Victoria. In NSW it is similar to all the news reports of overcrowding in some places.

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People are angry at the Government for not controlling the virus. People are pretending that this is all over with 60-155 fines issued per day in Victoria. With the mask law now in place in Victoria, there are about 20-25 people not wearing them every day and are being fined for that.

It is natural to feel some anxiety and grief . But we shouldn’t take it out on staff who are just there to do their job, whether it would be in retail, food and other essential services.

Most of us feel hopeless that we can’t earn enough money let alone lose a family member due to the COVID19.

How do we deal with the mental health struggles on a day to day basis?

First of all you can’t control what happens in the world around you. You can only control what you want to do and how you feel

Practice self-care. That could be reading a book and going out for exercise. Seek support if you need to.

Talk to someone if you can, whether it would be online or face to face.

Remember we are all in this together and we will get through to the other side.