Shaan's story...

For extraverted Shaan, being unable to go out and spend quality time with friends has been particularly challenging during the pandemic.

Shaan, now 22, has been caring for her mother since she was 14. Leaving the house to go to university and visit friends is an important way for Shaan to take a break from her caring role.

Before the pandemic, Shaan’s life was a whirlwind of juggling study, caring for her mother and social engagements. Staying home has forced Shaan to slow down, take stock and enjoy the time with her family. Shaan’s family now enjoy regular family comedy nights, where they have a laugh together over the latest stand-up comedy nights on TV. Shaan has also rediscovered former hobbies, like baking and knitting, which she first learned from her grandmother at seven years old.

But being under the same roof all the time naturally has its challenges. When tensions get high, Shaan reminds herself to take a break and remove herself from the room. To build in positivity when it’s needed most, each family member has also been practicing saying one positive thing about another family member each day.

These practices remind Shaan to value this quality time with her loved ones while it lasts. Her advice to others is to be present and take a step back from the daily demands we place on ourselves. She says, “I appreciate the little things – my health, my family’s health – and celebrate these little moments of gratitude.”