It’s okay not to be okay right now - but there will be a finish line
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Editor David Powles tries to make sense of what the next three months may bring.
Where on earth to start with everything that’s going on right now?
If you are anything like me then I would imagine that darn virus (I’m going to attempt this column without mentioning the rotter’s name) is pretty much consuming your every waking thought.
Being brutally honest, I can’t be the only one who feels a wave of sadness wash over them upon waking first thing and remembering all of the many challenges we’re all facing right now.
Thankfully those thoughts are quickly put to one side once I’ve caught up with the news, fed the kids, chatted with the wife and got on with the busyness of the day.
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Who else will also be familiar with that wiped out feeling come the evening, when the weight of all those heavy personal decisions we’re all making start to take their toll?
Of course, being editor of this newspaper I’m surrounded by the blasted thing, so maybe my experience isn’t quite the same as others.
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We’re all being told to take the odd break from the news every now and then - and that should apply as much to my team and I as it does everyone.
Nevertheless, at varying levels and in many different ways, I think we’re all struggling to comprehend and make sense of what’s going in the world at the moment.
And after the announcement earlier this week, we’re all thinking up our battle plan to get through.
I’d compare the next few months with the task of running the toughest marathon. Everyone in the marathon is going through their own internal battle, but that doesn’t mean we don’t make sure others are okay or encourage them to get to the end.
And making sure everyone is okay and reminding them we will get to the end of this torrid time is the main message I want to get across in this column.
We’ve launched our Here to Help campaign with the primary aim of people finding physical solutions to physical problems. Can you pick up someone’s groceries or prescription, walk their dog or cut their grass?
But we must not neglect the mental challenge we’re all facing at the moment, whether that’s through loneliness that’s about to get starker, anxiety that’s only going to grow or depression that might just sink to new lows.
If I, as someone who counts themselves lucky enough to not suffer from mental ill health, feel like this then we all need to keep a bit of a closer eye (from a safe distance of course) on those who do struggle.
Put in a phone call, drop them an email, make a moment for some Facetime, maybe even write someone a letter, knowing the effort you’ve put in to do that could brighten up their day. And if you are suffering, for goodness sakes please don’t do it alone. Talk to someone.
I’d also recommend every single one of us tries to find the light at the end of the tunnel. How can you turn the next 12 weeks into a positive? It could be spruce up the garden, paint that ugly wall or maybe even just play more with the kids, safe in the knowledge there’s nothing to rush for.
Try to remember people have been through even worse times than this and still come out of the other side.
In even the most toughest of marathons, there’s always a finish line.