In the months since the lockdown late March, people have gone through a gamut of emotions – fear,
panic, despair, loneliness – to name a few. But with the easing of restrictions, it was like there was a
collective breath of relief taken, we could feel the revival. And then, mid-breath, Victoria was back
in lockdown – possibly even in a worse place because of community transmission than they were in

Right now, with the people I am talking to there is a lot of anger. Anger with people who are not
complying with the restrictions, with the foolish security breaches at the lockdown hotels, the
people who thought that, worthy as the message is, that now was the time to gather in their
thousands to protest that Black Lives Matter.
There is deep anger, resentment, sadness and even despair when people can’t visit the people who
they love – especially if they are elderly or sick. Or when people can’t see their adult children and

People are telling me that they are finding it harder to bring energy to their workplace or sporting
clubs because they can’t celebrate what they achieve, they can’t meet with people and share their
lives and successes. In many instances, people are earning significantly less income. This is deflating
and affects our pride.

What can we do to handle these feelings that are battering away at us day in, day out?

• Name these things. Validate them. Accept that these feelings are normal under the
circumstances. Try and name your feelings accurately. Turn what you are feeling over in
your mind, look at it objectively while recognising that having these feelings are
understandable and not a failing.

• Recognise that unexpressed sadness can develop in to anger and anger can cause us to make
poor decisions and push away the people that we need most.

• Express your sadness and frustration and then employ some positive self-help practices.
These include checking in with our friends. Question them about how they are feeling and
listen carefully to how they respond. Showing other people empathy helps them but also
helps us.

• Develop self-care habits – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Self-care is not selfish –
you can’t give out to others if you are running on empty. This is really important for leaders
in particular – workplaces, sporting clubs etc. So you need to build self-care into every day.
Small regular times when we do something for ourselves. That might be meditation, running
or walking, immersing yourself in your favourite music, spending quality time, totally
focused on your loved ones or just taking the time to chew over your problems, your
feelings and breaking them down into manageable chunks.

If you are a leader and you are looking for guidance, SALT is offering a Reconnect Program for
workplaces and clubs. It’s aimed specifically at leadership groups, committees, coaches – those who
are entrusted to care for others. The people who must first learn how to care for themselves so they
can meet the emotional needs of the wider communities they are responsible for.
This online program takes 60-90 minutes and is fully funded for sporting clubs. At the end of the
session all participants will come away feeling like they have been heard and understood and
everyone will have a range of tools to use to help them to effectively care for themselves and then

For further details on our Reconnect Program go to or call 1300
980 424

By David Burt,
Founder Sport and Life Training (SALT)

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