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Wellbeing

How to help a Melburnian right now

This life we are leading is confronting and surreal. We cannot leave the house even for a walk down the street without a mask. (Can you imagine trying to get a grumpy teenager out of the house for a walk around the streets as ‘daily exercise’, wearing a mask?)

You have to shop alone – and only once a day. You can no longer see expressions, exchange an understanding smile in the supermarket. It’s sometimes hard to make yourself heard – I cannot imagine how hard it is for those who are hearing impaired. 

The streets are eerily silent. The world feels cold and still. It almost feels like we are simply robots, just going through the motions of life. Get out, get what you can, do your one hour of exercise, go home.

There’s a sense of grief. Businesses shut, people out of work, livelihoods in peril. People struggling to put food on the table, pay their rent or mortgage. I spend some days feeling guilty that I actually have work coming in the door.

And then there are the numbers. The daily press conference from Dan. The daily infections may have gone down somewhat, but the deaths have not. Today was 14. 

I feel the pain of those families, who won’t even be able to have a proper funeral.

We try to minimise the news, but it’s there in the background, every day. There’s no socialising, no meals out, no family gatherings, no kids’ sport. The grind and stress of school at home – don’t even get me started. This life is like trudging through wet sand.

Thoughts are lovely, but actions are better. 

If you have friends here in Victoria and have been wondering what you can do to help… why not send a little box of sunshine?

I’m a South Aussie by birth and in the last two weeks, I’ve experienced the most incredible thoughtful acts from some of my oldest friends and loyal clients. I encourage you to do the same for your friends or clients here in Melbourne.

Suddenly, surprise packages have started arriving at the door. A huge box full of chocolates, novelty items for the kids, beauty masks – the face mask we used to have! – even TP. An immense bunch of sunflowers, my favourite flower. Another box full of SA’s own Fruchocs – three kinds! – plus sanitiser and mask supplies. 

And yesterday – this. The Little Box of Sunshine. Actually painted yellow inside (my favourite colour) and full of all things bright and sunny and yellow – from M&Ms to post it notes to lemon scented soap, lemon flavoured tea and lollies. What a beautiful friend, a beautiful thought that made my kids smile on a difficult day of school at home.

This situation seems never-ending for us. So here is my challenge to you. If you have a friend you know is struggling, don’t just say ‘I’m thinking of you.’ Take action.

How can you brighten their day – give them a smile, make them laugh, something to break the monotony? Get creative!!

Pack a parcel. Write a letter. Send flowers. Visit this website – a client of mine who specialises in thoughtful gifting and has had to close their doors. Send something fun and silly. Chocolate, coffee – anything that is good for the soul. If you know your friend well, like mine obviously know me – you’ll know what to do.

Because just like those famous ‘parcels from home’ that soldiers loved at war time, what we need now is something to lift us out of the trenches – like a little box of sunshine.

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