The current stage 4 restrictions for COVID-19 in Melbourne are bringing up a range of emotions for everyone.
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Riding the roller coaster of emotions
Good morning

As of Sunday, Melbourne, the wonderful city I live in moved to stage 4 restrictions. Our state Victoria was declared a state of disaster due to rising second wave of COVID-19 cases. Curfews are in place from 8pm to 5am every evening. We can only leave our homes in the following circumstances:

  • To purchase food and necessary supplies. This must be done within a 5km radius from where you live. Only 1 person per household can leave for essential goods, and only once per day.
  • Exercise once a day for up to 1 hour within a 5km radius of your home. Gathering sizes will be limited to 2.
  • For care and health care including accompanying someone for essential medical care if you are a carer, guardian or necessary support person. The 5km limit does not apply to care or caregiving.
  • Work. Study at TAFE and university must be done remotely. The 5km limit does not apply to work.

All of the kids are now back to home learning. I can see it is much harder for them this time around. The younger two were already doing school at home, so it only new for our daughter in year 11. There were persistent rumours in the week leading up to the stage 4 announcement that tougher restrictions were coming. When I broached the subject with our daughter, she simply said she didn't want to discuss it until it was official. I have to admit I was feeling the same.

So on Sunday when Premier Dan Andrews announced what stage 4 meant for us we watched on with no real surprise, but that didn't lessen the blow. There was a range of emotions on display in the family - some were not overly worried about it, others were angry and when I asked the youngest how he felt, he said he didn't really know how to describe how he was feeling, but he said he felt heavy and strange.

I think he did a great job of describing his feelings, he was probably struggling to identify it as he hasn't really felt like that before. I completely identified with how he was feeling as I was feeling heavy and strange too. He is a resilient kid and while he was definitely flat for about 24 hours, he did bounce back pretty quickly.

These restrictions are due to last for six weeks at this stage. We are currently at day four and it feels about double that and there have been a roller coaster of emotions in the house. This stage definitely feels more oppressive and remote learning harder this time around for the kids.

As the primary carer in the family, I have always been acutely aware that my mood can dictate the mood of the whole house. I feel this is, even more, the case now, so it is critical that I take good care of myself. A few simple small things I am doing are:

  • Making the best use of my one hour of running
  • Doing 10 - 15 minute yoga sessions daily
  • Meditating more
  • Eating well and eating foods I love
  • Using my gratitude journal

I am also trying to make sure I am having a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative comments. This is something I have focused on before, but unless I keep it top of mind, the ratio drops. Now is a time that everyone needs to hear more positive than negative and I need to lead by example.

While this situation is hard, we also know as a family we are also very lucky:

  • We have a home
  • We have each other - while we can get on each other's nerves at times, we are not alone
  • We have our health
  • We can at least leave the house once a day
  • We have jobs - both my husband and I are still working, as are the uni students who have casual jobs in essential services

But it doesn't mean that it isn't a challenging time for everyone in the family. The rollercoaster of emotions is unlikely to stop any time soon and I am doing my best to respond with compassion and kindness. This won't be perfect by me but being conscious of the emotions swirling in the house gives me a better chance of responding in a way that helps not hinders.

I hope you are keeping safe and well where ever you are.

Take care,
Three stages of the stress response – and how it affects the way we parent
Stress impacts the way we parent our kids. The body’s short term and long term reaction to stress is described as general adaptation syndrome and it is a three-phase reaction to stress. In this post I share responses from readers which shows many are feeling exhausted by the ongoing stress in their lives.

Thanks for reading!
Nicole Avery
Planning with Kids
Surrey Hills Victoria 3127

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