It’s always helpful to hear how other people cope with life's challenges. Over the next few weeks we are dedicating the Being Well blog to a series called Being Well in Difficult Times. We've asked a range of health professionals 3 big questions to see if there was anything we could learn from them.
Dr Vered Gordon is a GP in Sydney’s Northern Beaches with a special interest in perinatal mental health. For more than a decade Vered developed Black Dog Institute’s highly regarded Professional Education workshops.
Vered has a remarkable gentleness and groundedness about her. It’s clear from her responses that this is actually something she works very hard to achieve, especially right now when there’s a lot to worry about.
What are your biggest concerns about the pandemic?
My biggest concerns here in Australia, given that medically the outbreak has been reasonably contained are:
- the loss of employment and financial security for so many families and the stress that will place on them for years to come
- the deepening isolation for people who live alone and who have limited social support
- the plight of people locked down in physically or emotionally violent situations
How are you managing your anxiety about these things?
I am managing by continuing to support the patients of my practice as best I can in whatever communication format they can access so that in a small way I can help them navigate the challenges that have arisen for them.
In terms of self-care I luckily live on the cusp of a national park and am able to be in nature daily and be physically active cycling, hiking ,paddling and swimming in the park.
Jon Kabat Zinn is my companion every morning and I am grateful for his soothing voice and gentle words.
Do you think the experience of this little bit of history will make a difference to you or your plans for the future?
The lesson of the pandemic is the positive value of going slow. So many people are talking to me about the relief of stopping the rush of their regular lives and only now, in hindsight, realising the impact of the sense of pressure they constantly lived with. Many parents are talking to me about having a different quality of time with family, particularly with older children who have resigned themselves to having mum and/or dad as their constant companions.
I hope when the switch is flicked back on we will be able to hold onto some of that space and time which emerged during the pandemic.
Personally, I am keen to go back to face to face. I miss the beauty of all the unspoken moments in a shared physical space that is hard to match in a telehealth format.
And in that vein, I hope that we are able to hang on to a heightened appreciation of what we have and treasure it the more for its absence.