By Claire Fisher, Research and projects officer, National Office 11 May 2020
Since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions were put in place, many have felt inundated with information about what might happen, who it will effect and how long it may last for. This has included many predictions about how families might cope with increased time spent at home and in one another’s company. Past research has shown that tensions can be exacerbated through times of great stress or increased contact and relationships can be negatively affected. Yet concurrent reports illustrate the adaptive ability of families and communities to manage in stressful times.
While the discussion can be conflicting and sometimes confusing, your experiences are real. In whatever way coronavirus is affecting you, Relationships Australia is here to help. Across Australia, we are staffed by a team of qualified relationship specialists who understand that some people need help to manage the significant changes that have occurred during COVID-19. We are located in every state and territory and have 106 venues throughout Australia, which means we understand that COVID-19 has had affects as diverse as the people we support.
People have reported issues relating to all aspects of their lives during COVID-19. In order to respond to this wide variety of concerns, state and territory offices have developed resources to help and support you. Some important tips include:
- Try to limit the amount of media you consume as this leads us to think about everything we can’t control. One of the most distressing aspects of the epidemic is the uncertainty of it all. Instead, learn to control what you can. Creating a routine is one way of controlling your day-to-day life through a comforting structure.
- Living with others? If possible, try creating designated spaces to allow yourself some time alone. Discuss responsibilities with everyone in the house to ensure the load is shared. What worked before might not work now and so these routines and responsibilities might need to be tweaked until you find what works.
- With all the talk about Business Continuity Plans, have we given the same time and planning attention to the home front and what awaits us there? Consider developing a ‘family continuity plan’ using RA’s template
- When responding to someone in distress, for example a family member, it is important to support them rather than ‘rescue’ them. This means assisting them to help themselves, by asking questions like “When have you felt like this before? What did you do? What resources or support do you have to assist you now?”. You can hear more about how to respond to someone in distress by watching this video created by Relationships Australia Western Australia.
- Do you live alone? Read these tips for maintaining your relationships while you stay distant.
If you would like to access the services and resources for your state or territory, you can follow the link below:
Relationships Australia Canberra and Region
Relationships Australia New South Wales
Relationships Australia Queensland
Relationships Australia Northern Territory
Relationships Australia Western Australia
Relationships Australia South Australia
Relationships Australia Victoria
Relationships Australia Tasmania
For further information on how Relationships Australia can assist you, contact our team by ringing 1300 364 277.