We are almost two months into lock down, and most of us have finally adapted our lives to the restrictions put in place, settled into a routine and have accepted that this is the new normal. However, as the number of new cases lowers each day and the need for protecting our economy rises, this new normal we have only just become familiar to is likely to change. Although returning to regular life is a positive, dealing with the constant changes can be difficult, and the thought of returning to school after just only getting into the swing of remote learning can be unnerving.
Last week, our Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia will undergo a three-step path out of coronavirus to restart our economic, educational and social life across the country. This process along with the pressure to return to ‘normal’ after a collective trauma like a pandemic can be overwhelming for children. When life has been different for a while, they might feel hope and excitement to go back to normal life, but also fear and worry at the same time. Feeling stressed about the thought of new changes occurring is okay. Adjusting to the changes that have already happened, and now having to readjust is a big thing. Even with a plan put in place, there is still a lot of uncertainty in our foreseeable future.
We can’t control these changes, but we can control how we deal with them. An important part of doing this, is to choose how you handle the changes individually and accepting that it will be a timely process. Here are some ways recommended by KidsHelpline, to help you and your children feel better about these changes.
- Be kind to yourself. You are entitled to your feelings. It’s okay to feel different emotions about things going back to normal. You are human and it’s okay not to always feel your best. Engaging in some self-care and coping strategies can help!
- Focus on meeting your needs. This means reflecting on what you need in order to feel better. You can ask yourself questions such as: “What do I need right now?”, “How does this activity make me feel?”, “Is this what I want or I am only doing this for someone else?”
- Take things at your own pace. Everyone adapts to change at a different speed. Just because you might be adapting more slowly/quickly than those around you, doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong.
- Know your boundaries. Be clear with others and establish what you believe is or isn’t acceptable behaviour.
- Practice assertive communication. This means communicating your boundaries and values in a way that is both polite and firm.
We should be very proud of ourselves for slowing down the spread of the virus, and we must be aware that the ease of restrictions is a marathon, not a sprint. However, even though it is a slow and steady process, we need to have hope as we know there is always a light at the end of the tunnel!
A formal statement with more information regarding the return to Oakleigh Grammar will be shortly addressed by Our Principal, Mark Robertson.