Coronavirus diary 23/3/20 – have a mission


I’ll be blogging my way through the Coronavirus period, with a focus on the psychological impacts and how to keep yourself and the people you care about safe and mentally healthy.

Look after yourself peeps..

Dr Gareth Furber

Over the weekend the government tightened the rules for non-essential gatherings.

The extent to which we need to socially distance ourselves is increasing.

The following facilities are restricted from opening from midday local time 23 March 2020:

  • pubs, registered and licensed clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos and night clubs
  • restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies)

More information can be accessed here.

For Flinders students this means that the Oasis centre is closed.

The overarching implication here is that we are all being asked to isolate ourselves to limit the spread of the virus. This means we’ll be spending a lot more time at our homes/units/apartments/ etc.

That kind of isolation will have psychological impacts, although by no means all negative ones.

For example, I’ve found that the limitations imposed on me by the current situation have actually sharpened my focus.

I feel that I have a mission, one that I will try to achieve in my time at home.

Actually, I have a few missions:

  1. help my colleagues adapt to working at home, by helping them use the technology available to us.
  2. use this blog to communicate what I am doing to to adapt to the situation and in turn give tips to students who are also trying to adapt.
  3. train myself to deliver and record online lectures so we can continue to reach students with our presentations on mental fitness, self-care, stress management etc.
  4. keep my fitness up through weight training at home and regular morning walks.
  5. Support local businesses where possible through regular purchases.
  6. Identify a charity to which I can set up a donation.

Do you have a mission (or missions) you want to achieve whilst you are on lockdown?

I like the language of a ‘mission’ because it combines importance with definitive action. A mission is a role you need to play for the greater good.

If you can find a mission that benefits you (i.e. break up your studies into dedicated missions) and a mission that benefits others (e.g. keep in regular contact with family) then you have key focal points for each day you are in lockdown. This can help focus your attention. Otherwise that attention might be hijacked by constantly reading the news (and getting more anxious) or procrastination activities that will keep you distracted but lead to you falling behind on your work.

We all have a mission which is to do our part to keep our part of the world ticking over.

I translate my missions into specific tasks for each day, entered into my calendar.

And yes, this might seem a little over-the-top, but one way to cope with being limited in your movements and interactions is to take charge of your day and implement new routines and habits.

Base those routines and habits around missions.

How are you structuring your days to deal with the social restrictions?

Today’s useful link

10 Online Tools for Better Attention & Focus

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