Focus on keeping positive tone

Kellie BalaamNarrogin Observer
Lauren Schutz with her sons Callum, 4 and Huntly, 5.
Camera IconLauren Schutz with her sons Callum, 4 and Huntly, 5. Credit: Kellie Balaam/Narrogin Observer

While the COVID-19 crisis is changing the way we live, Narrogin therapist and wellbeing coach Louisa White is encouraging the community to find positivity in these unprecedented times.

Ms White said people should be paying particular attention to their mental wellbeing.

“Fear is the biggest emotion people can start to struggle with,” she said. “Anxiety is huge, as well as lack of exercise, and I find people are just diminishing their own sense of being.”

Ms White has more than 15 years of experience with Bowen therapy, and has operated a Bowen and healing clinic in Narrogin for more than a decade.

“I help people find balance, clarity and insight, and move through their fear and anxiety. I can give them little exercises to help them deal with what they are going through,” Ms White said.

Ms White said she encouraged people to rid their minds of negative feelings.

“I recommend changing the wording from social distancing to physical distancing, because most people still have access to a phone and can still stay socially connected,” she said.

“We just have to find the positives in this time. How many more people are taking the time to connect with loved ones?”

Narrogin therapist and wellbeing coach Louisa White said fear is the biggest emotion people can start to struggle with.
Camera IconNarrogin therapist and wellbeing coach Louisa White said fear is the biggest emotion people can start to struggle with. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ms White is working remotely and is available to help people over the phone if they reach out.

“I can talk them through their troubles and strategies for stress relief and resilience,” she said.

“A really big thing to help people stay positive every day is to find three things you are grateful for in this current intense time we are going through.

“Being in a state of gratitude changes our mental state.”

Ms White said people should know it was OK to feel a mix of emotions.

“What a great time for people reaching out and helping each other,” she said.

“If we can look at it in that way — the same as with the bushfires — it’s tragic and there’s a lot of sadness and negativity, but look at the growth and amount of support that people found in themselves and each other.”

Also coming up with ways to stay positive during the COVID-19 crisis is the Narrogin Independent Playgroup.

NIP vice-president Kellie Wilkins said two weeks ago the playgroup committee cancelled its weekly gatherings due to concerns about the spread of the virus.

“We made the call to cancel, it’s not worth it because the playgroup is for 0-4 year-olds and we’ve also got five or six babies as well. It’s too risky given what is going on with the vulnerable people,” she said.

Callum Schutz, 4 and Huntly Schutz, 5.
Camera IconCallum Schutz, 4 and Huntly Schutz, 5. Credit: Kellie Balaam/Narrogin Observer

To keep the playgroup running remotely, the committee has come up with fun and creative ideas that are posted online to keep families occupied at home.

“One of the ladies suggested posting activities on Facebook that involves members doing a different one every day — people can post their version of the activity once they’ve done it,” Ms Wilkins said.

Some ideas include decorating driveways with chalk art, building cubbyhouses and making bath bombs.

“To be locked away in a house with a couple of toddlers is so hard. I can speak for myself because I’ve got a two-year-old and a four-month-old, so to know you’ve got a group of people with different ideas who can inspire people in similar situations, it’s so much easier for parents,” she said.

The Narrogin Independent Playgroup committee organised craft packs for their members to keep busy while at home.
Camera IconThe Narrogin Independent Playgroup committee organised craft packs for their members to keep busy while at home. Credit: Picture: Narrogin Independent Playgroup/Facebook

Ms Wilkins said it was a confusing time for younger children.

“My two-year-old keeps asking where her friends are because she knows every Friday is playgroup day,” she said.

“It is hard to say to her, ‘No, not today, hopefully soon’.”

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