Reflections on a year just past...

Today marks the anniversary of the second of the Victorian lockdowns, by far the hardest and longest in the country so far, and ironically, while our restrictions are easing, but across the border in Sydney, there are extensions to their restrictions – to you who are feeling the weight of it, allow me to say, we know what you are going through too well.

Thinking back over this time, we’ve learned a lot as individuals and as a country, some good and some not as positive.

But let’s not dwell on the negative – the media in all its forms does a great job of giving that air – let’s focus on some of the positive learnings in this.

Primarily I believe that the biggest learning seems to have been the ability to frame our responses to the pandemic and its consequences; most of you know that my view is that we have agency over our choices, and the way we respond to any situation – that nothing is either good or bad until we assign an emotion to it, and this determines our outlook which becomes a cycle of situation, emotion, response and forward attitude.

We also learned the value of community I think. We are a social being, we have always existed in communities, and we rely on the differing strengths of each other to flourish and I’ve seen some amazing examples of people going out of their way to help others who might have been struggling in even the smallest of ways, out of nothing other than care for their neighbours – some of the stories I’ve heard have bought tears to both my eyes and those telling the tale, we can only hope that this continues once we have this virus managed further..

The final learning, at least in terms of this blog, is one of resilience (yes, it’s a pet theme of mine). The human spirit has always been one of survival however over the years our psychology has become a touch brittle, and a lot of the people I’ve been in contact with have found the cycle of outbreak and lockdown to be an isolating one and this has led to an increase in some seeking out mental health providers to develop strategies get them through – and there is no shame in that in any way. Others have dug deeper within themselves and found the strength within and this has showed in the way they have adjusted – there is no one right way to deal with our feelings toward this, it has to be whichever works best for the individual.

So, what about you – what  have you taken from the last year or so…?