The evolving public health situation around COVID-19 is changing rapidly, impacting our day-to-day activities and routines. This can pose challenges to our usual ways of coping well and managing our daily schedules.
With any change, we see increased uncertainty. Therefore, many of us may be experiencing more anxiety or sadness at plans we’ve had to postpone or cancel, or anger about how others around us are speaking about, or acting in response to Covid-19.
It is important that we all support one another during this time by following some key coping strategies to manage our own anxiety, and to be thoughtful of our impact on others. In looking out for each other in these ways, we will find community and support, even if working from home or in self-isolation or quarantine.
- Allow and accept our emotions, even the unpleasant ones: This is a time that is inherently more emotional. Show yourself the respect and kindness that you would a friend, family member or colleague.
- Be thoughtful about your media and social-media consumption: We recommend limiting it to once a day, from a government website that is credible and current.
- Practice strategies that help soothe your nervous system: Some examples include deep abdominal breathing (even 3-5 minutes can help a lot!); mindfulness or meditation; cuddling a pet; wrapping ourselves in comfortable clothes or blankets; taking hot showers or baths.
- Create new projects or routines: Many of our routines have been disrupted, but this clears the path for us to start learning a new creative outlet (e.g., writing, drawing, painting or playing guitar). This may also be an opportunity to work on your yard, or to plan a garden. It may be an ideal time for home improvement projects as they can be highly satisfying. Also this a time to eat well, and to do movement at home that helps your body release its energy.
- Consider how you can bring humour or support to others: This could involve online communication (facetime or group online meetings), and you can be creative with this. Online dinner parties, or sending out jokes, trivia questions, or photographs to guess “What is this?” are fun ways to keep our spirits up.
- It is important to stay in touch with people who we know we can be honest with, who we support and support us, and help us focus on what is going well in our lives.
Ultimately, emotional wellbeing can be achieved even in times of change if we focus on projects that we can accomplish, and we surround ourselves (electronically if needed) with friends and family. If you need additional support, we have virtual sessions available. Please see our website for more detail.
The content of this blog is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or psychological advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your mental health provider or physician with any questions that you have regarding mental health concerns. If you think you have an emergency, please call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.