TDHS Social Worker Hayley Weel

COVID normal for you, may not be COVID normal for me

How have you adjusted to a COVID-19 world over the past two years?

You might not have given it much thought, but this unique time in our history has left its mark on everyone in different ways.

For example, as we head into the Christmas period, you and the people around you may feel uncomfortable about attending larger-scale social gatherings.

TDHS social worker Hayley Weel said not everyone was ready to go to a restaurant full of people or a busy shopping centre for the first time in two years.

“Our relationship with social situations has changed – we’re out of practice and it’s okay for you to feel a bit anxious about that,” she said.

“Likewise, we’re in a period now where there are COVID-19 cases around us, but restrictions are easing so everyone has their own feelings about that level of risk.

“You may not be worried about COVID-19, but you might experience some social anxiety that you weren’t expecting.”

Hayley said people’s need, and want, for current COVID-19 related information had also changed the way they received news, with social media playing a bigger role for many.

“For some people watching the news and looking at social media provides a sense of control about the current situation, but for others it can cause added anxiety,” she said.

“It may help to sit back and look at how you are digesting information and whether taking a step back, or even stopping a behavior could help your current mindset.”

Hayley said returning to work, playing sport, enforcing COVID rules at home and in the workplace and taking holidays were other considerations for people.

“We’re all different and there’s no right or wrong way to feel, so it’s important to be mindful of yourself and others as we all continue on the road to COVID normal,” she said.

For those who have been affected by lockdown restrictions and also experience social anxiety, the lockdown period may actually have brought reprieve from daily face-to-face interactions. So the thought of going back into the wider community post-pandemic may feel hard.

Below are some of the places to go for information and support:

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14 (available 24/7) or chat to a Crisis Supporter online at every night.
  • Mensline Australia: 1300 78 99 78 (24hrs)
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
  • BeyondBlue: 1300 22 46 36

You may also consider contacting us on 5558 6000 to make an appointment with Hayley or you can make an appointment with one of our General Practitioners by contacting our Timboon Clinic on 5558 6088.

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