Keep Your Chin Up!

Haltet die Ohren steif!

Haltet die Ohren steif – the ‘word a day’ for tomorrow from my German Living Language 2020 desk calendar is pretty apt considering Premier Daniel Andrews press conference a few hours ago. Despite hopes that today further restrictions were going to be announced for Melbourne, this is not the case. At present lockdown will continue in Melbourne. I am glad that we can now travel 25km from home for exercise, and not restricted to the 5km radius we have had since July. I am also glad that you can now be outside of your house for more than 2 hours for daily exercise. This gave me the chance yesterday to get in a longer walk for the start of the 96km in 30 days challenge.

I was chatting to a friend on Friday, saying how I was looking forward to a pre-Christmas get together, sending them a pic of the menu I am planning on serving.

I hope this will still be able to happen, I’ve really missed having that social connection, and after 214 days of working from home with seeing only 12 people in all that time for more than 15 minutes, the thought of being able to see friends again, is something I had been really looking forward to. Realistically, I will also not be surprised if I spend another Christmas solo.

Last year for Christmas, my flight was 30 minutes from landing in Sydney before it was diverted back to Melbourne because of the rapidly changing bushfire conditions, and I wasn’t in the end able to make it to Sydney to see family. Now, even if lockdown restrictions are eased, I won’t be be surprised to find that it will be very difficult to travel interstate. I feel for everyone in other countries where COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly. We may not be able to be where we would like, and with whom we would like this upcoming festive season, but we are not alone.

Reach out to each other, & get in touch with people you haven’t for some time. It doesn’t have to be long, people are very busy especially these days, and tired from virtual meetings, and being on the computer all day. A quick “hi, hope you are okay ….” can make all the difference especially to people on their own. I know, there are people who I haven’t heard from for a long time, but I also realise that they must also be under immense pressure with work etc to cope with the rapidly changing situation COVID-19 brings.

I’m not offended that I haven’t heard from them. I hope they are okay, and know that they will be extremely busy, stressed and under pressure from so many external factors. I hope when they are ready, that they know that I will be happy to hear from them, no matter how long that takes.

Photo by cottonbro on

As a Career Development Practitioner, I have been using my understanding of ‘Hope Action Theory’ to help me stay focused and motivated, and look towards positive outcomes during this unprecedented interrupted times. I’m not saying that all you need to do is keep your chin up, and everything will work out fine. Instead, we need a sense of action driven hope to assist us to navigate these uncertain times.

My Coping (career intervention) Strategies for continuing lockdown:

  • Focus on my postgraduate studies (Career Development Practices), visualising and planning how I potentially can engage in this industry in the future both in Australia and internationally.
  • Reaching out and continue to make contacts here and internationally in the Career Development Practitioner Space. I have been blown away with the kindness and concerns, by this amazing group of people, for how I have coped with continual lockdown, and this is reciprocated. I am also learning so much and broadening my knowledge and skills base in this field, from this amazing group of people.
  • Make continual progress towards achieving my goal of walking/cycling 96 kms in 30 days for Bravery Trust’s virtual Kokoda Trek fundraiser.
  • Actively engage in Action for Happiness’ November calendar, starting a bit early (there is a delicious gingerbread fruitcake recipe I want to make this afternoon, and a chargrilled chicken ramen recipe I’m also keen to make this week). From a work and studies perspective, some of the daily actions will help me to try and find alternate solutions to roadblocks.
  • Getting in contact with friends overseas and seeing how they are getting on.
  • I’m looking forward to the Veteran wellbeing summit webinars starting tomorrow. I believe anyone working with serving or former military personnel would benefit greatly by these webinars for increasing their awareness and understanding of the myriad of issues veterans can face whilst in service and after they have transitioned.
  • Getting back into a routine of getting quality sleep in the evenings.
  • Making some time for me. This is something I didn’t do back in May – Aug, and by mid September I became ill, without even realising it. I couldn’t understand why I was so constantly excessively tired, which affected my work and postgrad studies, and also my virtual interactions with family and friends. I’m so grateful for a routine pre scheduled blood test that recently picked up on this, and my energy levels are starting to slowly increase. I’m listening to my body now, and trying to be realistic at building in some down time.
  • Looking forward to when my copy of Hape Kerkeling’s I’m Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago arrives. At the start of the year I had decided on a self imposed ‘book ban’ until I had read what is already on my ‘to read’ pile. Apart from books related to my studies, this is my first book for relaxation to be making it’s way into my house since lockdown begun.
  • Bring more colour into my house by treating myself every now and then to some flowers. I miss how when I lived in Germany, I could stop by a farm and pick flowers that were growing in fields, and leave money in an honesty box. I wish there was something similar here where I live.
With the weather grey and soggy outside, I did treat myself to this splash of colour yesterday, after my walk to brighten up my bedroom.

Hope you all have a safe week x

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