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The coronavirus crisis has left us fatigued. So how can we cope during these uncertain times?

So, you’ve become more acquainted with Netflix than showering and all those well-meaning self-improvement ventures have been collecting dust since April. It’s understandable. But there are ways to beat your lockdown slump.

So, you’ve become more acquainted with Netflix than showering and all those well-meaning self-improvement ventures have been gathering dust since April.

It’s understandable. After all, who could have imagined we would still find ourselves grappling with the virus that has come to define modern life — and the restrictions that come with it — some six months after it entered the global consciousness?

“When we had the first lockdown, there was a novelty to it,” offers Rachael Murrihy, a clinical psychologist and director of the Kidman Centre UTS.

“People were getting creative and playing boardgames and doing all these sorts of things. But people are fatigued with it now.”

With the borders closed, families separated and no clear end to the crisis in sight, it’s easy to become trapped in this cycle of exhaustion.

So how do you keep the faith during these uncertain times? We asked the experts for their top tips.

The second time is harder

Finding the second wave more challenging than the first? Rest assured, you’re not alone.

According to Mike Kyrios, a clinical psychologist at Flinders University, the sense of comradery that defined the early stages of the pandemic was fractured as the virus again took hold down south.

Professor Kyrios has developed a framework called STREAM to help people cope during the pandemic. ( Supplied: Flinders University )

“Just as [the second wave] was beginning to ramp up again, we started to feel all those feelings that we had at the beginning, but it was a little bit worse,” he says.

“We weren’t all in this together anymore, it was this sense of ‘Oh, this is all happening to me’.”

So how can you overcome these sorts of anxieties and feelings of isolation?

Professor Kyrios points to an acronym called STREAM — a framework he developed with Flinder’s Órama Institute for Mental Health and Wellbeing:

S is for Social networking: ” Try and socialise as much as possible. It’s really important people keep in touch with others and engage socially as much as possible, whether that’s through digital means or telephone.”

is for Try and socialise as much as possible. It’s really important people keep in touch with others and engage socially as much as possible, whether that’s through digital means or telephone.” T is for Time out: ” Don’t spend your whole day watching ABC News getting updates on the Victoria situation. Turn the damn thing off and start talking to yourselves about what’s real and what’s actually happening.”

is for Don’t spend your whole day watching ABC News getting updates on the Victoria situation. Turn the damn thing off and start talking to yourselves about what’s real and what’s actually happening.” R is for Relaxation: “Do some relation exercises, whether it’s walking, mindfulness, yoga, breath exercises or even watching your favourite Netflix programs.”

is for “Do some relation exercises, whether it’s walking, mindfulness, yoga, breath exercises or even watching your favourite Netflix programs.” E is for Exercise and entertainment: “Do things that give you a sense of mastery and a sense of pleasure. Do a little bit of exercise and up the ante or read a book.”

is for “Do things that give you a sense of mastery and a sense of pleasure. Do a little bit of exercise and up the ante or read a book.” A is for Alternative thinking : “This is not like any other situation any of our generation has ever faced. But you know what? Have a chat to your grandmother or your great-grandmother, who may have been there during the Spanish Flu or Second World War. There is such wisdom in those people and there is such a sense of…

Bridget Judd

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