In this time of uncertainty, many feelings may arise within us. Some of these may include worry, anxiety, fear and concern regarding the future, including the well-being of our friends and loved ones. New information continues to arise on a daily and hourly basis and it can be difficult to manage our feelings and respond to the news we hear. Often times, we hear updates and new information but are unsure how we can actively respond and deal with our feelings. Here are some suggestions to help during this difficult time:
1. Focus on the present as much as possible. Although it is difficult not to worry about the future, we can only deal with the information we have at present. Keep in mind that our health care system has dealt with numerous health care crises in recent years and will continue to do so during our present situation. Experts who are trained to deal with these situations are working diligently to ensure we are kept healthy and safe.
2. Establish a consistent routine, while at you are at home. Work, appointments, and daily obligations give us structure and a feeling of purpose to our day. Try to establish a regular daily routine that is consistent and gives a sense of normalcy and predictability. This is a good opportunity to engage in activities that you may have been putting off, such as sorting through closets, cleaning your home, gardening, organizing digital photos, starting small home renovation or art projects, and completing administrative tasks. Try to make a list of outstanding tasks, and then make a plan to address them.
3. Be mindful of your self care. This includes paying attention to your hygiene, consuming healthy meals and snacks, and taking time for physical activity each day.
4. Take this time to reach out and connect with family and friends by phone, Facetime, or Skype. It is important to maintain connections with loved ones, especially during this time of social distancing.
5. Limit the time you spend watching news or reading social media. When we are inundated with negative information it can affect our perception of daily life and may cause increased worry and anxiety. Try to set aside a time each day to check for updates, and then shift your focus to watching programs that are enjoyable and calming.
6. Make a list of things you are thankful for, and refer to it when feelings of anxiety arise. Daily journalling may also help you to sort through feelings, increase focus on the present, and bring awareness to positive aspects of your day. Be mindful of your accomplishments, however small, and give yourself credit for the progress you are making as we work to get through this time.
Check reliable sources for information regarding Covid-19. The following website is a good source: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
If you feel you need to speak with someone regarding your mental health, consider calling the mobile crisis line: 902-429-8167.