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Navigating the Unfamiliar World

So much has been written about fear, anxiety and stress in the COVID era. And I certainly can identify with much of it. For me, however, it’s a lot more complex than just these emotions. I find I don’t recognise the world today. Looking around, on the surface, it seems that not much has changed.

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Here, in Australia, we are lucky enough to mostly be going about our daily lives without COVID seriously getting in the way. But in reality so much has changed .The virus has affected every facet of our life and world, and it feels strangely unfamiliar.

So in an attempt to find some familiarity and grounding, I’ve been revisiting the music of my past on the internet. Spotify, YouTube and other internet sites that host online concerts have been a saviour. Music transports me back to the era not only when I was younger, but also when the world seemed more known and predictable.

And I’ve reaffirmed for myself that I have held true, that popular music was much better in the olden days. The days when music was composed by actual musicians and played on actual instruments. Think Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes. The list goes on.

Whether I want to groove along, or just feel like chilling, there is music for every mood.

And there is singing along. There is plenty of scientific evidence supporting the metal health benefits of singing at a personal level. But whether its people singing together over an online platform, such as the brilliant Couch Choir productions, or singing together from tiny balconies around the town square, singing helps bring us together in this era of isolation in a way that is truly uplifting. And for those of you who have not yet been introduced to the dustyesky choir, look them up for a great boost of feel-good hormones.

So for now I’ll continue digging out all those great songs I have yet to play, and allow the songs of my youth to comfort me through the unknowable future ahead.

Further reading on the benefits of singing here or watch the Dusty Esky Choir in action.

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Dr Guy Gordon

Dr Guy Gordon is a General Practitioner currently working in private practice in the Northern Beaches of Sydney. In recent years, he has focussed on mental health and has undergone further training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as well as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a form of MiCBT (mindfulness integrated CBT). Dr Gordon facilitates community based mental health psycho-educational workshops in the areas of stress management and anxiety. These are delivered through the Manly Warringah Division of General Practice. He also works as a medical educator for the Black Dog Institute NSW ,facilitating mood disorder workshops for GPs. In the past he has worked in the pharmaceutical industry where he was involved in research and development of antidepressant drug therapy.

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