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Resources for mentally and emotionally challenging times

 

Some folk are doing well in themselves, others are struggling, and others still feel like they are on an emotional and mental roller coaster. It is hard to make decisions, be productive and connect with others when our nervous systems are anxious and struggling in regular times – it is especially hard during times of crisis. The following resources may provide some pastoral (not counselling) support for folk during this difficult time – for themselves, or as they recognise the signs in others.

 

  • Great resources available online and through Apps that support mental and emotional well-being:
  • Taking some time to be still and quiet to slow down and listen to nature can work wonders. The following are some ideas that can be practiced at home, in front-yards, in back-yards, in other places (given lifting of restrictions). Some benefit can apparently be gained even by watching nature videos with these practices in mind if you can’t go out.
    • Dadirri – an Aboriginal practice of inner deep listening. The linked explanations come from the Northern Territory. Where you have connections with local Aboriginal people and you can connect with them in these times, take the opportunity to ask them about their practice of inner deep listening.
    • Forest bathing or forest therapy – a spiritual practice that originated in Japan. See how it looks in Melbourne/Victoria.
    • Home gardeners world-wide are finding their garden helps keep them more balanced generally, but especially during COVID-19 (I know being in mine helps me very much!)
  • Ambiguous loss, disenfranchised grief and COVID-19. Many are feeling grief and loss that is unclear, full of uncertainty, not knowing what is coming next – at home, work, church, society, etc. For some, this is linked to anxiety because they do not know exactly why they are feeling loss, or whether it is ok to feel that way. Back in the 1970’s, Dr Pauline Boss developed the term, “ambiguous loss” in her work with people who had family members away at war. She then developed this work further with those who had a family member experiencing dementia. Dr Boss’ work on ambiguous loss has application to trauma and the time we now face due to COVID-19. Researchers in Australia are also studying what has been termed, “disenfranchised grief”. Professor Jane Fisher and Senior Research Fellow Maggie Kirkman from Monash University are seeking to understand COVID-19’s impact on Australian adults, including the effects of disenfranchised grief.
    Some useful resources around ambiguous loss and disenfranchised grief are:

 

The information above is available as a download by clicking here.

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