Kooringal High School

Kooringal High School - "The Edge in Education"

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Message from one of our School Counsellors

06 Apr 2020

Aaron Johnston

Provisional Psychologist PSY0002121075
School Counsellor
Kooringal High School

Quite a bit has changed in the last few weeks. Where we go, who we go with, and who we see is quite different for most of us.

Uncertain times could lead to a whole lot of thoughts, feelings and emotions. Maybe you think everyone is overreacting. Maybe you feel very worried; worried for yourself, your parents or grandparents or someone else. Perhaps you are feeling bored at home and finding it harder and harder to motivate yourself. Some people might be sleeping less than normal. Or more. You might be finding yourself getting easily annoyed by your family and snapping at things more than usual. Or, maybe you are feeling fine, so long as you are keeping yourself busy and engaged. The truth of the matter is everyone is probably feeling one or any of these at different points in time.
Uncertainty generally leads to worry for humans. For most of us, we like to have a level of certainty and predictability in our lives. Worry often creeps in when we don’t have this. Worry is fine. It is a normal human emotion and when we worry, what we are doing is being creative and problem solving. You’ve probably worried plenty of times in the past and that has helped you in a big game of footy or netball, performed well in a test, stood up for yourself or someone else or managed to get your way out of a sticky situation.

So, if you’re worried at the moment, you are probably in good company. Lots of people are worried. Some of those who are worried are using that creative energy to improve things in theirs or someone else’s life.

You could use your worry to help find ways to improve your current situation too. You might not be able to cure COVID-19 just now, but neither can I. That’s out of our control and we have to accept that. But what we can do is use our worry to improve things that are within our control. So here are some ideas, but you could come up with some yourself:

• Connect with someone you haven’t spoken to in a week or more. Send a quick text or make a quick call. Send a courier pigeon. Say g’day to them.

• Check in on elderly relatives. They might love a quick phone call and would love to tell you how 16 quarts of milk used to cost 4 farthings and a duck or the time they bowled Donald Bradman out in a weekend cricket match.

• Routine: Don’t sleep in until 2PM. Get out of bed at a reasonable hour and do some school work. Give yourself tasks you want to complete and tick them off as you go.

• Help out around the house. One day you will have to cook meals for yourself and do your own washing. This is a chance to develop some of those key life skills you’ll rely on for the rest of your life.

• Exercise: Get out of the house according to current governmental guidelines. Go for a walk or jog. Jump on a bike, put on your helmet and get those legs working. This is good for mind and body.

• Keep up to date with the news, if you’d like, but don’t over-expose yourself. The 24 hour new-cycle can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed and create a sense of perspective that won’t necessarily reflect what is going on around us.

• Values: once we come out of this situation we are in, how would you like to remember you dealt with it all? How do you want to interact with your immediate family? What would you like your extended family or elderly relatives to say about how you went through this all? What would you like to remember about how you faced adversity when you look back on this in 5-10 years?

• Find time to have fun. Not just endlessly watching Tik Toks, but actually fun, active things you can do, especially in the company of others.

• If you’re feeling anxious, remind yourself of the things in and out of your control. There are some things out of our control which are going to make life harder, for a while, but not forever.

• Be kind to yourself. If you’re feeling sad, worried, even scared, agitated or just plain old frustrated, that’s fine. Everyone feels like that at some point as we try to understand what is happening around us and what it means for us and for those we care about. You’re allowed to feel those things, but they do not have to govern our actions and behaviours.

• Reach out to the KHS Student Support facebook page via private message if you need to.

• Lifeline (131114), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), speak to your parents.