Like many of us, our client James has found dealing with the impacts of coronavirus a stressful time. However, not only has he been able to manage his way through the crisis but has been successful in continuing his personal development by creating a strategy that focuses on three key areas of his life.

James’ encouraging story, written in his own words, is one about appreciating what you have, never giving up and continuing to improve.

I live with a severe head injury I sustained when I was 19 years old. I am 37 now. I live within a household with 3 members that are at higher risk in relation to COVID. I am taking this COVID era we are in now very seriously. Having built routine through this difficult time essentially is how I am managing this.

I would like to quickly speak about 3 topics which show my resilience and in fact continued development through this current COVID era – I have a job, I am a volunteer for a support group and I reflect and look at how my personal life, home routine and lifestyle has changed through COVID era but I realise I continue to develop and improve is really the way to put it.

Regarding the job I am fortunate to have my job I have. I first got this job in Nov last year so prior to COVID restrictions being present. Then restrictions arrived and a palpable stress level grew in the air and my job was put on hold. Life was somewhat chaotic yet I prioritised caution with COVID safety as utmost equal with regular self care like nutrition and hygiene. But then as the upper staff of that work saw COVID risk tapered, workers were ushered back including me and my 2 days of work per week routine and schedule returned.

I am a volunteer and a client of a support group for people living with head injury – I have been a very fond member of this support group for years now and became a volunteer for the group not only a client. Now I have more responsibility and certain tasks I get asked to do on a regular basis. As a group, we chat weekly and we have fortnightly catch ups that occur in a staggered manner such that every week there is a recurring catch up of a group that’s focus is a developing agenda based on week prior but it is routine and part of a schedule.

I have maintained a routine within the household but I have added to it – I am cooking regularly now and my cooking has not stopped being more and more creative – Italian, Chinese, Mexican, BBQs and etc , I can’t stop … I love it. Finding a passion to apply to makes such a difference.

I am maintaining communication with friends via Facebook messenger and doing so following reminders I set such that this is achieved in a regular manner – I still feel connected and we are benefitting on both ends and I am achieving this from my end initiating a continuation of connection via routine and schedule communication.

I am finding joy in small things like my preparation of coffee, hot chocolate and chai… and these are just small things I am doing every day like I have made a choice to choose to enjoy them.

In terms of entertainment, I am an active member of the entertainment audience – what I mean by this is I am actively choosing what to watch and focus on – I am trying to benefit from my time with it rather than use it just to waste time.

I am taking some joy in photography – my overall point is I am being creative trying to use all this extra time rather than be dragged down by all this extra time. But I do so while also being very conscious of and careful with COVID restrictions to keep myself and my family safe.

I appreciate what I have. I am not giving up. I am continuing to improve.