I was just away in my thoughts, World wide how many people have been in contact with a Nurse in the past year and half?
We’ve touched so many peoples lives, also many of these individuals would not have seen the nurses full face as they are wearing a face mask
With the state of Victoria going through a fourth lockdown the city seems to change every time, each new lockdown never becomes second nature. Plus a cold winter is here, outside is quiet, yet we know that this is for the short term and then the city will be alive and bustling again very soon.
Each pause with the lockdowns demands time for thinking and there is no escaping these thoughts like we normally can with being ‘busy’ in life. You have to face whatever hard truths surface, some thoughts are uncomfortable especially with past choices or decisions made at some point in life.
It’s weird as you have to give these negative thoughts time, yet not to be ‘drowned’ by them is hard to fight. It’s so essential to remember any times that were great to you- like past achievements or doing something of bravery and courage, even reminiscing of the little wins is so important. This time where everyone is vulnerable in regards to health, has an effect where lockdowns make you learn about yourself.
My personal situation is that I live alone, having family overseas and being a shift worker adds to the difficult dynamics of lockdown. Days off from work may mean I see only a few beings in a whole day, I am not the only one as many people in the apartment complex I live in are living by themselves too, you can see some individuals struggle with some social anxiety.
I can’t imagine living in times of lockdown without Wi-Fi, as making digital connections with people online has been soothing, its strange as I’ve never met them before, yet we relate in conversations. Mind you talking about Wi-Fi the internet shopping is a bit disgraceful, Whoops.
After going through a few lockdowns now, there is a constant feeling of being tired whilst doing nothing, i’m realising that this may be burn out and many have expressed- feelings of being exhausted, theres procrastinating, struggling with brain fog, changes in sleep habits, feeling detached, feeling sick often or the use of food or alcohol to get through the days.
Routine & Comfort –
On a daily basis I write in a diary the 3 things I want to achieve for the next day and its feels a little productive especially when going through days that are long, even writing to go for a walk feels like a simple gain.
I have set up two survival kits, one kit is for food and another kit is for self care, it’s been super helpful as they offer comfort in the way of feeling good. Of course having time has allowed me to experiment with recipes and meals, it kind of works out pretty well and is fun too.
I’m not a big watcher of TV yet during lockdowns I’ve allowed myself to watch sitcoms, I call that ‘comfort tv’. Also it’s been fun travelling into my youth to relive music and I can’t help but break into dancing around, discovering new music is awesome too.
When this lockdown started I did get in the trap of having the news on all the time and that effect on me emotionally was overwhelming at times, so I adapted and only put the news on to see the quick highlights and numbers of Covid-19 nationally, then the news is switched off until tomorrow.
With social media I reduced my time on platforms with intent to filter out whats not useful and to avoid going down any unnecessary ‘rabbit holes’, its all about protecting emotional bandwidth.
At work we meet so many interesting people, plus we are all living through these times collectively, I can’t help ask my co-workers and patients whats it been like for them, they are honest and tell me their difficulties and perceptions. Sometimes they are interested in my experiences and by sharing like this it feels as though there is mutual humility and respect.
Myself and a lot of my co-workers have had the opportunity to work in different areas, for example helping in the community with swabbing or the vaccination drive, it’s been great as we get to meet nurses from different hospitals and even nurses from the community and theres always a friendly, helpful atmosphere with helping each other.
Even though we are living in times where theres always possibility of another lockdown, I think I have acquired some learnings that I will take into the future with me-
- In the future I will be cautious with ‘being busy for the sake of being busy’.
- Theres no right or wrong way to manage these times, I think kindness to ourselves is important.
- Maybe because I like talking, I’ve found it good to step out of my shoes and listen to others experiences, some people have wild stories and its great to hear them.
- This may be more of a tip in my diary on a daily basis I answer- ‘What are you grateful for today?’, this shifts the mood instantly.
Stay Safe- Aussie Nurse
Support Resources –
- Nurse & Midwife Support– 1800 667 877 https://www.nmsupport.org.au/accessing-support/telephone-support
- Lifeline– 13 11 14 https://www.lifeline.org.au
- The Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Line– 1800 512 348 https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au