For the first few months of 2020, Australian’s have been navigating through ever-changing rules and regulations as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This has proven to be quite limiting in the way we usually live out our lives.
But whether it is in lockdown or through phases of easing restrictions, a consistent message from Government and health authorities has always been to stay connected.
While it’s important to remain vigilant in doing our best to help stop the spread of COVID-19, here are some ways you can connect and work around some of the physical restrictions that we face today.
Take advantage of technology
We live in a day and age where we can easily reach out to those around us without having to leave our home. Take time to familiarise yourself with the technology that’s available to help you connect and keep working remotely. This can be your phone, laptop or tablet.
Once you’ve established this, keep in touch with your family, friends, community groups and colleagues by using these tools. Communication methods you already use may include emails or phone calls. Consider trying individual or group video calls as seeing someone’s face during a chat or meeting can make for better communication. There’s plenty of free video call and virtual meeting platforms available, so do your research and see what works best for you.
It’s good to be mindful that the absence of face-to-face communication can easily lead to misinterpretation. So, we need to remain compassionate and kind with each other, especially during such challenging times. Some may face daily personal struggles or pressures during lockdown or certain restrictions. To help ease this, we can be more understanding if someone’s child walks into a virtual meeting. We can also be more thoughtful in the way we write emails or text, using positive and encouraging words to help support one another.
Remember that communication is key. If you need some time to focus or concentrate, simply let your team or family know that you won’t be available and how you can be contacted if it’s urgent.
Check-in with others
Remember that physical distancing doesn’t need to mean social disconnection. After we learn to use the right communication platforms, let’s continue to make use of these tools to further show support and care to others. This could mean that you may have to share ideas or organise activities which could provide a way for your friends, families or co-workers to connect.
• setting up a time and date where you can group chat
• starting a virtual book or movie club
• scheduling a group workout
• joining an online community forum of interest.
Kids Helpline also offers some tips for children to connect in a safe way. You can also use these RUOK? connection cards to check on a neighbour. There are also resources available to help you check the signs while having a ‘RUOK?’ conversation. Further support options are available here.
Connect with us
Wesley Mission has more than 120 programs across New South Wales. Go to our website to find a service near you. We also stream our Sunday services live each week which are available in English, Indonesian, Mandarin and Samoan.
If you need to talk to someone right now, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
To find more COVID-19 information and resources, visit the Wesley Mission website.