I’m back at work after experiencing my turn with Covid-19. I’m really thankful that it was all mostly ok health wise. Even though I felt rubbish for a few days, I felt like there was a high possibility that all would eventually come right.
What did take me by surprise was how socially and emotionally isolating sickness is. When you’re unwell it’s like all your thoughts revolve around yourself way more than usual. Will I get better? When do I need to take Panadol next? What do I want to eat? Why aren’t more people checking in on me? How will I catch up on work? What happens if I feel worse tomorrow? I imagine as a student you also have your worries about your own workload, events that you may be missing etc.
None of these questions or thoughts are wrong – they are all valid questions but they all have the interconnecting vibe of being about me.
I have never studied psychology but in my small human wisdom, I suspect thoughts like the above can easily drift into anxiety type thoughts and behaviour. I guess because you are unwell, it’s hard to not let these thoughts and questions become replayed over and over again which don’t help when one is already isolated.
In Chaplaincy or the faith space, one antidote to thoughts like this is to think of others. When we think of our spiritual wellbeing, part of maintaining that ‘health’ is being there for others or at the very least recognising that we are all going through stuff! For each of us that may look quite different but the good thing is that it takes our eyes off ourselves and any anxiety we may be feeling and onto something else. I ended my isolation/sick time feeling like I didn’t particularly want to see anyone or do anything but forcing myself to reconnect and be in other people’s space and issues has really helped.
If you have felt isolated or down due to Covid-19 or any of the circumstances around Covid-19, know with that you’re not alone. Please reach out if you would like to chat through this further.
Tēnā koutou katoa. Ko Jane tōku ingoa. I am one of the Chaplains at UC. I’m guessing some of you may be unsure what a chaplain actually is! Chaplains are someone who provides spiritual care in a non-religious environment compared to working in a church setting. Chaplains are onsite at UC in a role that offers pastoral and practical support regardless of anyone’s background or belief system. We recognise that there are many parts that make each of us function – our physical bodies, intellect, the relationships we have around us, support structures and for many of us a spiritual or faith aspect.
John is the Senior Chaplain onsite. He’s a previous UC grad and an ordained Anglican minister amongst many other things. John has an academic background, has a great listening ear and attends many meetings plus does the official civic stuff around UC when needed. He has a great sense of humour and is always up for a chat.
I am another Chaplain who is very thankful to be here. I have done some part time theological study, I’m a trained teacher and Christian mentor. I spent many years tutoring at Lincoln Uni and then working for our local church. I’m also a UC graduate from a thousand years ago. I love meeting new people and helping and supporting where I can.
There are also some volunteer Chaplains around as well as various faith groups.
People come and see John and I for all different reasons. Sometimes people just need someone to listen. This is totally fine and very welcome. John and I are not employed by UC so are independent and confidential but happy to support you as we can and support your journey at UC. Sometimes people have faith questions or simply want an independent and safe space to ask questions. Sometimes people need a place to vent, or simply a coffee. There’s not really anything that’s out of bounds in terms of what we have heard or come across! At other times people would love prayer and spiritual support. John and I can also point you in the direction of faith clubs and churches around UC.
We’re really thankful you are here at UC and look forward to catching up if or when you need us. You can get in touch with us here:
UC is a bicultural institution committed to developing a diverse, culture-rich and cooperative environment for everyone in our community. UC policies aim to ensure that all students are given the opportunity and support to grow as individuals and as part of the wider community.
We value manaakitanga at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha. Manaakitanga is an important human value and encourages us all to ensure we are tika – being true to our values and correct in our actions; pono – being honest and open-minded, and; that we do everything with aroha – with empathy, respect, care and understanding.
Ultimately, manaakitanga is about looking after others and ensuring people feel welcome and included – in all places and in all conversations.
At UC you can expect a learning environment where you have the right to safe learning conditions free from harassment, bullying or discrimination, and to be treated in a respectful and equitable manner.
The Equity and Wellbeing Advisory Group helps to ensure students have a voice on diversity issues. Find out more online at www.canterbury.ac.nz/support/equity