For most of us, this is an extremely atypical spring, particularly in Melbourne where the city is usually overtaken by the Spring Carnival at this time of year. The Spring Carnival is still happening but — for obvious reasons — there is far less fanfare. For some people, social distancing and ongoing restrictions on public gatherings might reduce the pressure they feel around gambling, but not everybody will feel the same relief. In fact, for some of us, the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic might be making it worse. Don’t worry, whatever you’re feeling: you’re not alone. We’ve got some tips to help you through this time.
Don’t compare yourself to other people.
You might have some friends who can gamble casually and have no problem knowing their limits, while you find it hard to stop when you know you should. That doesn’t mean they’re better than you. You’re just different — you might be more sensitive to the negative aspects of gambling than they are. There are probably other things you can do that they can’t.
Learn about yourself.
Around this time, the bombardment of gambling advertisements might make you wonder if your gambling feelings and behaviours are ‘normal’. Take our self-assessment quiz to help you understand where you’re at and what steps you can take.
Learn from your peers.
Everybody needs a little help sometimes. We seek out the wisdom for all kinds of problems — there’s a reason YouTube tutorials exist for everything from applying the perfect winged eyeliner to advanced tractor repair. Changing your gambling habits is no different. There are countless people who have also experienced problems with gambling and want to share what they have learned. We’ve put together some tips on how to find them.
Avoid your triggers.
The advertising is all over tv and social media. If that’s stressful for you, it’s ok just to avoid it altogether. For you, that might mean a ‘digital detox’, or it could just mean sticking to ad-free services like Netflix and Stan until the season is over. Check out our tips to keep gambling out of your face.
If you need a little help to avoid your triggers, you can sign up to self-exclude from venues or digital services. All Australian registered gambling providers are required to offer self-exclusion. Check out our guide to signing up.
Your bank may also be able to add additional protection by blocking gambling transactions on your cards.
Plan for the future.
Many of us had to put fun and adventure on hold when the pandemic hit. It’s ok if you’re not ready — either legally or personally — to get back to travel yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t investigate what you’d like to do when it’s safe. Look into the fun things you can do in your state or across Australia, and make plans for the future. It won’t be long until we can get back to the beach, the bush or the outback, so what do you want to do? Make a bucket list.
Remember: You’re not alone.
A lot of people find this time of year hard, and in 2020 in particular, a lot of people are finding this year hard. If you want to chat about what’s been happening, we’re here 24/7 on 1800 858 858 or online.