COVID-19: How we’re coping after what seems like an eternity in isolation.
It has now been five, six, maybe even seven weeks (who knows!?) since our national leader decided to restrict workplaces and introduce guidelines around social distancing and self-isolation. Initially, the idea of working from home, safely nestled, and confined by four familiar walls; protected from the possibility of contracting COVID-19, seemed exciting and practical. Following strict practice has provided us with limited spread and as a nation, we have done an incredible job, evidently flattening the curve, whilst limiting community exposure.
But as the days and weeks continue, the struggle becomes more and more evident.
It’s hard work.
Ask anyone – a mum, dad, colleague or boss and they’ll tell you just how much their workload has doubled. As an industry, we’ve somewhat relinquished our brands and together supported one another, as the landscape of real estate changes drastically. A proud and gratifying feat for anyone within the real estate community. Many agents have reached out to their own communities, supporting its members anyway they know how – running errands, offering solutions to problems, or even just connecting via phone.
But as the days blur and the weeks continue, how are we all really coping with limited connection and a hazy, undefined routine?
The initial expectation
It’s the reason sports shops had their ‘sell out’ moment; everyone scrambling to recreate their gym routine at home. Whether it was HIIT, meditation, yoga, weights – many made clear goals to ‘get fit’ as an endless amount of time and freedom was predicted. Gyms and alike, recreated their programs online, capturing their audience via zoom and other online portals.
And if exercise wasn’t a top priority, many were manufacturing plans for re-connection with lost hobbies or cooking skills, etc, with celebrity chefs offering free online courses or ‘cook-a-longs’.
However, as the Australian Government navigated around complete lock down, many now faced the juggle of remote working, inhibiting the freedom, initially expected. Home-schooling has since been introduced, adding to the stress, and leaving parents scrambling to fit in full-time work, school, and household obligations, evidently showcasing it’s sometimes easier said than done.
A lack of connection
For those largely driven by social interactions and engagement, working from home has interrupted their sporadic corridor conversations whilst halting office banter altogether. And whilst social connection, (other than by those living in the same home) has shifted to the digital space with relative ease, it highlights to many, just how much they miss these genuine interactions within the workplace.
Pyscom.net, an online mental health resource, suggests ‘even when you’re totally healthy, not having social interactions can hurt both your physical and mental wellbeing. Studies have shown loneliness can lead to diabetes, autoimmune disorders (rheumatoid arthritis and lupus), and cardiovascular diseases. If you’re already prone to depression, anxiety, and loneliness, you’re hit even harder’ (pyscom, 23 April 2020).
In a recent article for Beyond Blue, Psychologist Sabina Read explains ‘work would have been traditionally a very potent source of connection and routine, particularly for people who live alone, and when that ritual is lost, that’s really significant to our well-being’ (Beyond Blue, 2020).
How to get through it
No matter where you look, everyone is searching for connection. This is certainly evident as initial restrictions ease across Queensland, generating a spike in gatherings in public spaces, as people are eager to reunite with friends and family.
Suggesting simple ways to combat mental fitness, Ms Read explains ‘get enough sleep, eat well, avoid or reduce your alcohol intake, meditate, move your body, stay connected to loved ones and limit your exposure to the news’.
Sabina also explains, ‘if you enjoy having lunch with workmates, schedule in a lunchtime video catch-up where you can sit around and chat as you usually would’ (Beyond Blue 2020).
As icons of the community, driven by a desire for connection, real estate agents across the country know too well just how hard this lack of connection coupled with isolation is, and can sympathise with an overwhelming feeling of uncertainty and ambiguity. Over the past few weeks our Eview Group agents have been extending their support throughout the community, undertaking shopping runs and connecting (following strict social distancing measures) with those most vulnerable, within these circumstances.
Positively, we are now witnessing restrictions ease across Australia, with some states reintroducing small measures, welcoming the return of a familiar lifestyle. Although it may take time to return to our ‘pre COVID-19’ way of life, these steps are certainly heading in the right direction, offering hope to so many, eager to return to their previous lifestyle.
If you, or anyone you know need support or help during isolation, please don’t hesitate to visit www.eview.com.au and connect with your local agent. They are ready to listen and help where they can.
If you’re considering a new chapter and would like to know more about your current property value or market insight, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our Eview Group Proud Member agents, or alternatively visit www.eview.com.au to get in touch.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mum’s out there, this Sunday’s celebrations may look a little different but nevertheless, full of love!
For anyone experiencing overwhelming feelings of distress, support is available for by phoning Lifeline 13 11 14 (24 hours a day) or texting 0477 13 11 14 (available 6pm – midnight AEST, seven days a week); Mensline 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800; beyondblue 1300 224 636.
Dolgin, R (2020), ‘How to Survive Social Distancing’ (online), available at: https://bit.ly/35yMudZ (Accessed 5th May 2020)