Together, we’ll get through this

Message from Provost Professor Belinda Tynan:

Well, here we are again. Just as my Victorian colleagues and I are finally back on campus, staff in Greater Sydney are experiencing an extended lockdown in their homes and, Brisbane staff, you’ve had a stint within your four walls too.

It’s a seesawing, uncertain time for all of us and lockdowns would appear to be part of our future – at least until vaccination rates rise. But we’ve got this. Each of us has stayed home before in the interest of public health. We know how a lockdown is done. And we know how stressful stay-at-home orders must be for those of you who care for others, for those of you who live alone and must suddenly work alone too, and for those of you who are essential staff and continue to travel to campus every day.

I’d like to encourage you in this moment to stop, take a breath, and take care of yourself. While I may not face the same restrictions as you do right now, I have been in the same boat as you. We all have. We are all living through this prolonged period of uncertainty that is contributing to a rise in mental health concerns. Yes, it is tough, but it won’t be forever. Yes, the world is going to be unpredictable for some time, but you continue to demonstrate your resilience, and together we’ll get through this.

In times of challenge, the more we can do to support ourselves and each other, the better we will do individually and collectively. Some small steps you can take are to:

  • Stay connected to your family and friends. These are the people who fill your cup and actively engaging with them may relieve feelings of isolation or depression.
  • Continue to exercise and get outside. Even if it’s for just 30 minutes once a day, moving your body in nature will do wonders for your mental and physical health.
  • Do something you love that you can do at home. Watch Netflix, bake a cake, garden – do whatever it is that brings you joy. It will boost your mood and you may even tap into that wonderful “flow” state which can help combat any sense of languishing, a very 2021 emotion described by organisational psychologist Adam Grant in The New York Times.
  • Take some time to recharge. Even if you can’t travel far at all, a staycation can be very enriching – so rest up at home and refresh.

If you would like professional support, make sure you take advantage of ACU’s staff support services including our Employee Assistance Program and Campus Ministry.

Q&A on the impacts of COVID-19 on our sector

Please join me for a virtual Q&A panel today at 12noon.

I will share a message of support and, together with our panelists, discuss the impacts of COVID-19 more broadly on the higher education sector.

You don’t need to register to join this session – simply join the MS Teams Live session at noon today.

If you are unable to attend, you will be able to access a recording via the link above.

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