An open letter from our club chaplain, Geoff Rayner...
Dear friends, players and supporters of the Mooroolbark Football Club,
To say that these are interesting times in which we live is quite an understatement. You don’t need to be told that we are currently going through a time for which we have no real historical references.
It is a time of constant change – by the hour – and general fear and uncertainty
in our community. With change comes stress, and with uncertainty comes fear, and all of us will probably experience this to one degree or another, so it is for this reason that I wanted to write to us all.
It is important to note that these feelings are normal. There will be many of us going through the same things. You will not be the only one experiencing a sense of uncertainty or isolation. Many of us are experiencing a change in our routines and this brings its own stress, so it is important at this time to try to maintain as many routines as we can or simply establish new ones.
Human beings find a sense of comfort in routine and we should try to keep as much as we can. In addition, one of the biggest stresses we have is in the barrage information that we are receiving – both true and false. The WHO recommends that we limit ourselves to checking the news to a couple of times a day – and this should be from a reputable news source. Beware of ‘fake news’, particularly from social media, and attempt to verify any information that you think is important.
Having said this, as a football club we are well placed to apply a number of familiar skills to this situation to help us get through. I am not trivialising, but we can certainly be aware of the following: 1. Look out for your mates. We are a team and a club that prides itself on how well we all get on. Don’t lose track of your mates (or neighbours) when we are in isolation. Keep checking in on them and be aware if they seem to be struggling more than you would expect. 2. Take care of yourself. Apart from the obvious physical actions that we are required to take, there are also some mental health checks that we need to run. If you find yourself becoming more angry and feel that it is impacting your relationships or thoughts, please share this with someone. If you find that increased anxiety or depression results in less control of habits that are detrimental to you or your loved ones, please talk to someone. A mate, a family member, a professional, just someone. We are in this together and we can help each other together. 3. We need more talk. It is important to remember that ‘social distancing’ is actually ‘physical distancing’ because if anything, our attempts at appropriate social interaction should now be intensified. We are social beings and we need to communicate for our own health, so whenever you think of a team mate or friend can I encourage you to use that as a prompt to call, text, message or email them to see how they are doing? It is important to know that this will eventually become history. Things are uncertain now and we may feel that we are not in control of our own destiny, but we will come out the other side of this. In the meantime, if any of you feel the need to chat or just to reach out to someone, you can call, text or WhatsApp me on 0414 279 044 or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even if you would like someone to pray for you. Stay safe and may you experience peace at this time. Geoff Rayner Chaplain, MFC