If lockdown 2021 feels tougher than lockdown 2020, you're not alone.
Clinical psychologist Sky Steele says many Illawarra residents were getting their first taste of normality when the second lockdown struck.
"Over past two years with fires, floods, drought and then COVID, everyone's stress response is maxed out," she said.
"We're not designed for this stress response to be on so long, and people are feeling the weight of that."
With so many people seeking help, wait lists to see a psychologist in person have lengthened.
To help combat the problem, Sky created 'The Mental Health Hub' on facebook.
The page provides mental health tips, and a space for people to share their struggles and victories during lockdown.
"Our core needs as humans are for connection, safety and security," Sky said.
"We want to know womseone is out there - our logical brain can know we're all going through this, but if you're sitting home alone it can be hard to remember that."
Sky's top tips for making lockdown manageable were to limit exposure to COVID information, create routines that give you some control over your day, find ways to express your feelings, and ask for help if you need it.
"It is temporary, even if it doesn't feel like it," she said.
"No matter how uncertain and scary it is, it will end. Lower your expectations of yourself, and be kind."
That goes double for any small people in your household.
"Sometimes we get so caught up in our own stuff, we make our kids' behaviour mean something about us," Sky said.
"But they're going through the same things we are, they're having a human reaction as well."
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