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Health and Well-Being Support

COVID-19 is not the only thing that is new and novel for 2020.  Marcus Oldham College’s adaptations to the situation are also new and novel for many of us.  The College responded early in moving to online study and lectures are now being held online.  Study and teaching is happening from settings away from the college – and of course there is no more socialising in person either in class or at social events – or even the pub!

As our national community continues to make efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 we are all adjusting and making changes to the way we live, study and socialise.  Changes can result in increased stress and anxiety.  Therefore, it is more important than ever to look after our well-being and mental health and each other.

Well-being – Back to Basics

Self-care means taking control of what we can do and looking after our physical and mental health.  By engaging in self-care practices we reduce our overall stress and anxiety and send our bodies and minds the important message that we are ok – an important message during uncertainty.

Self-care includes:

  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercising regularly – There are lots of online exercise options at the moment – including several free classes through Geelong’s Gym that can be accessed through the following link
  • Limiting the use of alcohol
  • Engaging in relaxation / quiet activities – The options are endless in this regard (listening to music without other distractions, having a shower or taking a bath, yoga, mindfulness, reading…) and for some people maybe an opportunity to try something new.

Again, there are endless mindfulness based practices but here are two sites that have apps that provide a good introduction to this practice

https://www.stopbreathethink.com/
https://www.smilingmind.com.au/

  • Having fun – Taking the time to do things that you enjoy means that you are re-investing in yourself and therefore helping you remain positive and motivated to continue with work or study.
  • Staying connected – Investing time in relationships or social activity – setting up zoom study groups or catch ups on social media platforms / apps can boost your sense of well-being and positivity.
  • Balancing work / study / life – Boundaries are important when working or studying from home – both to remain motivated but also to ensure that you do ‘switch off’ and have enough down time.
  • Limiting exposure to media / news – Whilst it is important to be informed, it is possible to become saturated with news and updates etc.  If you are finding that you are becoming increasingly anxious or upset about what is happening, consider limiting the incoming information to accurate and factual sources such as the Australian Department of Health or the World Health Organisation (WHO) which contain evidence-based information and health recommendations in response to the COVID-19 situation.

Study Tips:

Some of main considerations include:

  • Developing a routine
  • Setting up a dedicated study space
  • Planning your week
  • Having regular breaks (and when possible getting up and moving during these breaks)

For further suggestions or ideas about maximising success during on-line learning:

Student Support

Experiencing additional stress or anxiety is completely understandable in light of the current situation.  If you are struggling with feeling overwhelmed, tearful, having trouble sleeping or are in any way concerned about your mental health, or that of someone you know, we encourage you to seek support.

Some support options available include:

Student counselling through the college.  This continues to be available to all students – including those who are currently completing their 2nd year Agriculture placements.  Students are able to contact the Student Counsellor to arrange a phone or video call – or to get assistance to link in with local supports. You can reach the counsellor by emailing [email protected] or calling 0488 074 798.

– Headspace offer free confidential counselling support via phone or online for young people up to 25 years. Access it here.

– Area Mental Health Services are available throughout Australia and can be reached through contacting your local / regional hospital.

– Lifeline – 13 11 14 in times of crisis or when immediate assistance is required. Lifeline can provide telephone support – 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Additional Resources

Headspace, as well as offering online counselling support, have released tips and information sheets to support young people cope specifically with stress arising due to COVID-19 (along with lots of other great resources). You can access it here.

The Australian Psychological Society also have a useful tip sheet for those who are experiencing increased anxiety in response to the corona virus outbreak. You can access it here.