COVID-19: limits pushed and emotions tested by Morgan Rudd

12.08.20 SHARE

COVID-19: limits pushed and emotions tested by Morgan Rudd

Koorie Youth Council

Who would have thought that the year of 2020 would be such a whirlwind and devastating time for our mob. From bush fires to the COVID-19 pandemic with BLM marches, the usual racist remarks and comments we face as Aboriginal people, cultural loads jam packed and everything else in between, this year we have no doubt had our limits pushed and our emotions tested.

Overwhelmed, anxious, sad, alone… These might be just some of the emotions you may be experiencing at the moment. Please, know that if you are feeling a certain type of way, that’s totally normal and warranted.

Some of our work lives will look different at the moment, our brothers and sisters, cousins and nieces and nephews might all be learning remotely, our Elders might be isolated and scared and some of us, who live alone, might be feeling really disconnected and distanced at the moment.

I work full time and have been working remotely since March. Each work day looks different but I can usually guarantee to have at least some virtual peer interaction, whether it’s emails, phone calls, Zoom meetings or Skype messages. There’s always someone to talk to and something to follow up on. But by 5pm when the day winds down and everyone logs off to be with their families or significant others, some of us may log off to an empty house. Gee, the way I worded that sounds super depressing, but at the end of the day that exactly what it looks like for some, me included.

I want to talk about some things that I do each day to keep me focused and motivated to keep as mentally healthy as I can while living alone. Trust me, I definitely do have my bad days, but overall I’m doing my best.

Morgan working from home

Here’s five things I do each day to keep myself on track.

1 – CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF! Take five minutes each day, I usually like to do this first thing, to check in with yourself and your emotions. I find it sets the tone for the day. If you wake up feeling a little flat, tired or overwhelmed. That’s okay. Take note of your feelings and monitor how you feel as the day goes on. P.s. It’s okay to crawl back into bed sometimes.

2 – BREATHE! If at any point of the day everything just feels a little bit too much, take 3 deep breaths and have a minute to yourself. Whether that means getting up and walking away from your workspace to regroup or taking the opportunity to make yourself something yum for lunch rather than the standard toastie or cup of noodles.

3 – YARN! Reconnect with those cousins you haven’t seen in years, call your nan and catch up on the family drama, check in with that Aunty that always calls you out for not visiting her when you’re in town. As awful as this time is for us, but I feel in a way we are so blessed to be able to slow down and reconnect with our families and ourselves. I can’t wait for life to go back to some kind of normalcy, but I really am loving reconnecting with my family.

4 – GET SOME SUNNNNN! As we are in the midst of winter this can be hard, but those little rays of sunshine do make an appearance here and there. So when they’re out and about make the most of it! The sun isn’t on our flag for no reason, it’s good for the soul and has the ability to literally brighten your day and lift your mood. If there’s no sun in sight and you’re brave enough to face the freezing weather, get outside and go for a walk or run. Connecting with country and a breath of winter air will do you some good!

5 – FEEL IT! If you’re just having a shit day, feel it! Feel every emotion you have and just ride it out. If you wanna cry, then cry. If you wanna be angry, pop on your go to song and be angryyyyyy. But be mindful here not to take it out on others. Feel your emotions in a healthy way for yourself and your family. Plus once you cry or listen to some music you’ll hopefully be feeling better.

The best advice I have for anyone right now is just be patient and kind to yourself and take each day as it comes. We don’t know how long this is all going to last. So taking it one day at a time, takes away all expectations.

Stay strong you mob, check in with yourself and check in on your family and friends who live alone and try not to take it personally if they’re withdrawn or distanced at the moment. It’s all such an unknown time for all, so just be there as a friend. Remember to reach out for support if you need it. There are so many good resources available, so please utilise them if you’re needing a little extra support. Don’t be afraid to lean on friends and family. It’s important to remember that if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, others may be experiencing the same too.

Morgan Rudd is proud Yorta Yorta woman who grew up on Wemba Wemba country in Swan Hill, and deadly new Exec member.​

Remember that if you need support, there is support out there: