Practising self-care during these troubling times


It’s understandable to be feeling stressed, distressed, tired, overwhelmed and troubled by the emerging crisis. To stay strong and ensure we are coping as well as possible, it is important to practise self-care.

What is self-care? In short, self-care can help you manage your mental health.

Self-care looks different for everyone. It may take trial and error to discover what you need and what works best for you. But even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact.

Many of us are used to seeing security guards posted outside our Jewish schools, preschools and synagogues. For the majority of us, the low-level threat of antisemitism is part and parcel of being Jewish.

Right now, however, as the war in Israel is unfolding and many of us are also witnessing and experiencing hateful words and actions towards Jewish people locally, the reality of antisemitism is hitting home, leaving us feeling vulnerable and unsettled.

The scenes emerging from Israel have left many of us feeling shocked, horrified, powerless and in grief. For survivors of the Shoah in our community, and their children and grandchildren, and for those who have fled from Ukraine and South Africa, there will be fresh feelings of trauma as memories flood back, wounds are re-opened and trauma is re-lived.

Amid this many of us will be wanting to know how we can help. Checking in with friends and family, normalising how they might be feeling, communicating a sense of connection, seeing what they may need and encouraging them to reach out to their social supports are a few ways we can help.

Another important thing we can do is practise self-care.

As a starting point, think about what has helped you cope in the past and what tends to help you stay strong. Here are some ideas:

Self Care

Ensure you look after your physical wellbeing: take time to eat well and exercise, try to get enough sleep and rest, and minimise your intake of alcohol, caffeine or nicotine and avoid nonprescription drugs.

Make time to unwind: take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.

Try to keep reasonable working hours so you do not become too exhausted.

Check in with those in your family and friendship communities to see how they are doing, and have them check in with you. Find ways to support each other.

Stay connected: talk with friends, loved ones or others you trust for support.

Stay connected: talk with friends, loved ones or others you trust for support.

Remember that you are not responsible for solving all of people’s problems. Do what you can to help people help themselves.

If you or someone that you know needs support, JewishCare and Jewish House are offering counselling to community members affected by the current crisis. For support during office hours, phone JewishCare on 1300 133 660. If our lines are busy, please leave a message and we will phone you back. For afterhours support, phone Jewish House on 1300 544 357.

Lifeline also offers 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services 13 11 14. In emergency situations or if life is at risk, phone Emergency Services on Triple Zero.

Support Services

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from 9am – 5pm, if lines are busy, please leave a message and you will receive a call back

Jewish House

For after-hours support