Wednesday 25th of March 2020
We’re navigating uncharted waters as our country prepares to enter lockdown to tackle COVID-19, so it’s normal to feel anxious right now. But it’s also important to remember we’re all in the same boat. We’re in this together. You are not alone.
A certain amount of anxiety is productive — it motivates us to wash our hands often and distance ourselves from others when there’s an important reason to do so. If we weren’t concerned, none of us would be taking these measures and the virus would spread much faster and more widely.
But unproductive anxiety — going over and over scenarios and what if’s — can make our minds spin in all kinds of frightening directions.
As an employer or host, you may be worrying about the future of your business and your employees.
As an apprentice, you may be concerned about the effect an enforced break will have on your studies and your future career.
Try to stay grounded in the present. The most important thing right now is to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy. Enjoy spending more time with them. Live in the moment. Don’t let your anxiety spin stories about the future that aren’t helpful.
In these early days, it is important to find out what support is being offered, so don’t shut yourself off completely from updates. Just make sure you get information from reliable sources.
For up-to-date advice on everything to do with COVID-19 Coronavirus, visit https://covid19.govt.nz/ - this is the government’s information hub. New support packages are being announced every day – wage subsidies and mortgage or loan relief, for example, which could alleviate some financial pressures. But don’t obsess about updates all day and spin out of control.
We know the biggest protector in times of crisis is social connection. Stay connected with the people you know and care about. Talk to your neighbours over the fence. Get creative about ways to stay in touch. FaceTime/Skype/Zoom your friends and relations or set up a group chat.
Consider joining local community or industry online groups — there are loads on Facebook, including a private support group for Master Plumbers Members which you can join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MasterPlumbersNZ/
Try to stick to a routine. Exercise. Eat well. Sleep. Look after you. Tackle those jobs around the house you’ve been meaning to do if only you had the time. NZ’s gardens are going to be incredible in a month’s time! Laugh whenever possible.
If you need help, or support, or need to talk to someone you can call or text 1737 at any time to speak with a trained counsellor — it's FREE and confidential.
Remember a virus can invade our bodies, but we get to decide whether we let it invade our minds. Have faith. Be strong. Be Kind. We will get through this.
This article is based on advice from Sue Kohn-Taylor of The Mental Fitness Company. Sue is a consultant for Master Plumbers’ Wellbeing on Tap programme designed to promote good mental and physical health: www.wellbeingontap.org.nz