How Team White Dogs Stayed Motivated During COVID-19

26 Aug 2020

By The Wild Women On Top Coastrek Team in partnership with Beyond Blue

2020 has really thrown us some curveballs, hasn't it?

This year will test our resilience and our toughness, perhaps more than ever.

During these uncertain times, we need connection, community, exercise and nature more than ever.

It’s what Coastrek is all about.

Coastrek looks a little different this year. But we’re still in this together, walking with friends and proudly supporting Beyond Blue. On Friday September 4, hundreds of women - and a few men - will come together across the country to walk for mental health.

One Coastrek team based in Brisbane can’t wait to get out on the trail on Event Day. Celeste, Sarah, Annette, and Kim from Team White Dogs have been walking and fundraising together for months. Together, they've raised over $5,ooo! For Team White Dogs, training and raising funds for Beyond Blue has brought them closer together in the age of physical distancing.

Celeste shares how her team has stayed connected, motivated, and well during COVID-19.

What has training for Coastrek during the pandemic done for you and your team’s mental health?

Walking 30km is certainly no easy task, both physically and mentally. The economic and social challenge of COVID-19 brought a whole new dynamic. Missing out on social interactions, being confined to our homes, juggling work commitments and our children’s education, certainly created mental challenges for us all. But, having each other made it easier!

Knowing we had each other to lean on was fantastic, and we sure have! Having the common goal of Coastrek allowed us to take our minds off daily challenges and gave us an opportunity to connect regularly and deeply with each other to motivate, listen and empower. Training, even on our own, gave us time to think, reflect and create the space each of us needed to be whole and be ourselves!  

How have you managed to stay connected during a time of physical distancing?

What better time to embrace all the technology at our fingertips? We stay in touch on WhatsApp, posting training milestones as an opportunity to share achievements for motivation - to keep the momentum up. There are plenty of phone calls when we feel a team member might be going through a tough time.   

When we moved from Stage 4 into Stage 3 lockdown, and our national parks opened again, we really committed! Together we embarked on longer hikes, embracing physical distancing. We stay connected during the week and really look forward to seeing each other on weekends, where we share laughs, life experiences, and support each other through tough situations.

Do you have any tips for others to stay well during this time?

Anyone could feel overwhelmed, anxious and even fearful when the words ‘pandemic’ and ‘social distancing’ are used. While routines have changed, we can apply many things to stay physically and mentally healthy – and fight off stress which can have a significant effect on depression and anxiety.

  1. Begin your day with a sense of purpose.
  2. Get outside. Australia is blessed with an abundance of natural parks and coastlines. Go and enjoy what Mother Nature is giving us.
  3. Eat balanced meals.
  4. Stay connected. Just because you can’t be with friends and family in person, doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch. Set up time to connect.
  5. Finish your day with one or two thoughts of gratitude.

What are you most looking forward to on Event Day?

The end of the day when we can share a sense of accomplishment, knowing we’ve not only achieved something fantastic and extraordinary for ourselves, but we’ve also contributed, in a small way, to someone else's life.

We’re showcasing - through faith, hope, and love - that all of us are, in some way, touched by poor mental health. But together we can share light to individuals and families impacted by mental health conditions.

For information, advice and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during isolation, visit Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service website.

If you’re feeling worried or struggling to cope, the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is available any time by calling 1800 512 348 or webchat online.