Scholars, time to check-in

Overwhelmed, stressed, isolated. These are only a few of the emotions you may be feeling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Collectively, we are facing surreal and daunting times. The sudden change this global health crisis has brought to many aspects of our lives means it is crucial we all prioritise our mental health and wellbeing.

I am personally worried about the wellbeing of my family. I am feeling overwhelmed by the need to adapt to a rapidly transforming work environment. I feel stressed over the long-lasting impact this will have on the wider community. Above all, I too feel isolated in this “new normal”. I am currently in lockdown in one of Victoria’s ‘hotspot suburbs’. Like many of you, I don’t know when I will be able to return to my workplace or see members of my family again.

 In times of crisis like this, it’s natural for our thoughts to attend to those we love and care for. What might not come as naturally is to ‘check-in’ with ourselves:

 “What are my coping mechanisms right now?”

“Is my daily routine conducive to me feeling a sense of accomplishment?”

“How can I re-evaluate what I’m capable of in this time of uncertainty?”

“Am I being proactive enough in looking after my mental health?”

“How am I staying socially connected?”

 If you need support after reflecting on these questions, you can always access the health and wellbeing services at your university, reach out to others, practice mindfulness and take advantage of the resources that give you the tools you need.

One of those resources is Smiling Mind’s new program, Thrive Inside, designed especially for COVID-19. This program can not only help you foster healthy mental habits but also to stay calm under overwhelming and stressful circumstances. So, I encourage you to download and utilise this timely and valuable resource. During these times of transition, we have the opportunity to discover new insights about our priorities, our values and our life goals.

A key insight for me is that it’s only by looking after ourselves that we can generate the energy to also look after others. Our actions as individuals now show us more than ever how our behaviour can help or hinder the society we live in. Take care. Stay safe. Be mindful and supportive of yourself, of those you love and of those in your local community.

Please know that the team at The George Alexander Foundation is here for you.

Craig Connelly

Donate The scholars and fellows supported through the GAF-funded programs are committed to their studies, to giving back to the community and to doing their utmost to uphold the investment that has been made in them. If you would like to invest in the education of some talented and dedicated young Australians, please make a tax-deductible donation online by clicking on Donate or contact us on 03 9650 3188 for other options.
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