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With the ongoing challenges of lockdown, it is important to do what we can to stay positive and look to a freer, happier place on the horizon.
A recent study found that people who can balance ‘living in the here and now’ with planning for the future, are more resistant to the challenges of negative emotions and resilient in the face of stress.
The study looked at two different ways of managing stress: ‘mindfulness’ and ‘proactive coping’.
Mindfulness involves living in the moment, while proactive coping involves planning for things as a way to minimise future stress. The results showed that making plans for the future was helpful for managing daily stress, but it was best used when coupled with living in the present.
Connect Health & Community senior practitioner, Jessica, says that being able to balance the many mental health pressures during lockdown and find a ‘happy place’ between the here and now, and planning, will bring best results.
“Studies show that it's important to find joy in the moment – like the scent of freshly bloomed flowers, hearing your kids laugh or dancing to your favourite song - but when you are struggling to cope, thinking about things that you want to do in the future can help you manage difficult feelings and stress. Then you can look to a time in the not-to-distant future, where you can do things differently, go further from home to a different open space, plan a zoom catch-up with friends or even look to that holiday in the future,” she said.
Some fun things to do while living in the now, include:
And fun things to plan could include:
Connect Health & Community offers counselling services to help our community manage life’s challenges. For more information about services and wait times, call us on 03) 9575 5333 or visit https://connecthealth.org.au/our-services-programs-groups/counselling/
For crisis support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
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