Coping with the new normal: How to feel balanced in times of change
There’s no doubt that 2020 is very different from what many of us had in mind. With so many rapid changes to the way we live, many of us are feeling out of sorts. To help, we decided to explore some of the ways that you and your family can adapt to the new normal and take wellness into your own hands.
Published 06 July

Change can be stressful. And with the huge changes we’ve all endured this year, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed.  Here, we’ve outlined a few ways that you can navigate the uncertainty and keep yourself feeling calm.

 

Breathe...

Mindful breathing is a great tool for promoting feelings of calmness. It’s also super simple – and something that both children and adults can do (*check with your doctor first if you suffer from asthma or other respiratory issues). The process simply involves paying attention to each breath and gently bringing your mind back whenever it wanders.

Try this technique:

  • Sit comfortably with your feet on the ground and your hands resting in your lap. Close your eyes or gently focus your gaze on the floor.
  • Take a moment to settle and let go of any tension or holding – especially the shoulders, the stomach, the eyes, face and jaw.
  • Now notice how your breath is. Is it shallow or deep, short or long, jagged or smooth? Simply observe how your breath is, noticing its texture and form.
  • Now focus on deepening your inhalation, just a little. Try not to drag it in – keep it slow, easy and smooth. See if you can direct your breath down into your belly rather than your chest; letting your belly expand with each breath in.
  • As you breathe out, let your belly relax again. See if you can make each exhale a little longer than the last one.
  • As you find an easy rhythm with your breath, simply focus your attention on the sensations of the gentle rising and falling of the belly as you breathe. You might like to place your hands on your belly to help notice the movement.
  • Continue for a few rounds like this.
  • When you’re ready, release the practice, open your eyes and return to your natural breath. Notice if you feel any different now to when you started.

If you are feeling stressed or anxious, spending just 3 minutes each day practising mindful breathing can be a really beneficial addition to your daily routine.

For more tips on guided breathing check out YouTube or meditation apps such as Insight Timer and Headspace, available on Apple and Android phones. And for some other ways to bring mindfulness techniques into your everyday, check out our dedicated mindfulness blog.

 

Maintain a routine...

Establishing and maintaining new routines can be a really important way to gain back a sense of stability in times of change. Whether it’s meal planning, following a morning routine, practising yoga every day, going to bed at the same time every night, or scheduling daily calls with friends or family, creating and maintaining new structures can help create a sense of predictability and normality.

Plan out your week:

Monthly PlannerKMART

The Feel-Good Family Food PlanBIG W

Celsius Yoga Block – REBEL

 

Get physical...

Regular exercise is an excellent way to build structure in your day – and, along with being beneficial for physical health, exercise is a powerful tool for supporting mental health too. The good news is you don’t need to overhaul your life with intense workouts; research shows that even small amounts of exercise can be beneficial.

You’ll find a wealth of workouts online, with options available for various ages, abilities and fitness levels. For more tips on home workouts and staying active check out our exercise blog.

Keep your exercise regime on track:

Fitbit Inspire Activity TrackerJB HI-FI

3kg DumbbellKMART

Circuit 65cm Gym BallBIG W

 

Stay connected... but remember to switch off. 

Staying connected with family and friends while staying apart is really important for our wellbeing. Thankfully, with the technology available now, that’s not too difficult.

Scheduling a Zoom or FaceTime catch-up can be a really rewarding way of keeping connected – in addition to physically distanced in-person catch-ups, when safe.

While technology helps us stay in touch, consuming too much information – especially news –can leave us feeling worse.  Limit your social media and news intake to just once or twice a day and make time for a non-news-related chat with a friend each day. Even better: do it while having a (physically distanced) power walk together.

For staying connected:

Apple iPad 32GBJB HI-FI

Vivitar Muze Onyx HeadphonesBIG W

 

For switching off:

Asics GEL Leather Walking ShoesREBEL

Dive into a new release book  – QBD BOOKS

MindWaves Calming Colouring Book ­–BIG W

 

Ask for help…

If you suffer persistently from stress and anxiety, it’s important to consult your GP who can support you to manage your symptoms. If you are in crisis there’s a broad range of services available, too.

 

Beyond Blue

Support for depression, anxiety and related disorders.

Ph: 1300 22 4636

Phone service available 24 hours, 7days.

beyondblue.org.au

 

Lifeline

Crisis support, suicide prevention and mental health support services.

Ph:  13 11 14

Phone service available 24 hours, 7days.

lifeline.org.au

 

Kids HelpLine

24-hour telephone counselling service for people aged between 5 and 25.

Ph: 1800 55 1800

Phone service available 24 hours, 7days.

kidshelpline.com.au

 

headspace

Mental health and other support for young people aged 12–25.

Ph: 1800 650 890

Phone counselling: 10pm to 1am

Online counselling: 1pm to 1am

headspace.org.au

 

1800-RESPECT

National telephone support service for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.

Ph: 1800 737 732

Phone service available 24 hours, 7days.

1800respect.org.au

 

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*Please note that due to COVID-19, some stores may be closed at this time, but most are still available for online purchases. For an updated list of Woodgrove retailers still trading please click here.


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