An important message about Wellbeing & Resilience - COVID-19


We are hearing a lot about handwashing and social distancing at the moment (and rightly so) – but what about the other things we need to be doing to look after ourselves and our family, friends and colleagues?

Lawyers right across SA are facing uncertainty, disrupted income, health issues, worry about their loved ones, and so on… These challenges can produce effects such as exhaustion, detachment from others, insomnia, poor eating habits and irritability. And, of course, an increased risk of experiencing anxiety and depression.

Some of the usual recommendations for keeping ourselves mentally healthy and resilient aren’t very helpful at a time like this where social isolation is mandated for the foreseeable future.   The isolation of working remotely without the usual day to day interactions with your colleagues will likely take its toll. 

The gym is no longer an option. Connecting with friends and family over dinner has been ruled out. Even getting some quiet time on your own at home might be difficult now if everyone in the household is working or studying from home.

The Law Society’s Wellbeing and Resilience Committee wants to remind you that there are a range of services still available to support you at this difficult time and there is a lot you can do to take care of yourself despite the restrictions on movement and interaction.

Our top five tips for your wellbeing and resilience:

1.     Stay connected – there are so many ways to do this online now. Share a Spotify playlist, have a video call through Skype or FB Messenger, play games against colleagues or friends online… This is particularly important for people who are working from home and are therefore physically isolated from colleagues as well as their family and friends. For more inspiration, click here.

2.      Keep physically active – use this as an opportunity to work on your (solo) running or explore the millions of free exercise videos online. Chris Hemsworth is offering a free trial of his fitness/lifestyle app, Centr, and there are lots of other free options to choose from as well. Your gym might even be offering some free online content. Even if you are only working out in your lounge room – you will still get the same boost to your physical and mental health.

3.      Focus on what you can control – there is a lot that we can’t control, predict or even understand at the moment. Taking charge where we can will help us to combat anxiety. So create a new daily routine for yourself, decide on some projects you want to spend your weekends at home working on, and make sure you get enough sleep.

4.      Practice meditation and mindfulness – much of the anxiety we feel comes from rehashing what we have already lived through and obsessing over what might happen next. That is a normal response to a situation like this but meditation and mindfulness can bring us back to the present moment and therefore help us to keep anxiety at bay. There are lots of apps which make this really easy, such as HeadSpace and InsightTimer.

5.      Give yourself some enjoyable distractions – don’t just work and scroll through news feeds. Here is one of the many central resources for suggestions about podcasts, books, TV shows, movies and much more to keep the whole household amused. 

Our top three resources if you need some support:

1.       Lifeline is still available to you 24/7. They offer phone, text and online chat services. They also have some suggestions about getting through this period.

2.       BeyondBlue services are also still available via phone and chat.

3.       LawCare Counselling service remains available via phone and face-to-face.

If you are interested in learning more, click here for more apps, fact sheets and websites. You can also access our free Online Wellbeing and Resilience Program (for which you can claim 1 CPD point) and a Wellbeing and Resilience Guide.

Wellbeing & Resilience Committee