How to manage your stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 Health Crisis
– Written by Stefanie Peachey, Therapist, Peachey Counselling
We as Burlington residents, Canadians and World Citizens are living in a new world right now. With recommendations of working from home, social distancing, and self-isolation, many people are feeling a lot of stress, panic, and anxiety, making mental health a very important topic.
To manage during this unprecedented time, here are some tips and suggestions for how to stay mentally well, and support your family and friends, during this very challenging time.
Finding control in a situation that feels beyond your control
Create a new routine in your household, whether you are on your own, with a friend or partner or with your children. Routine provides us with a much needed sense of purpose and control. Get up at your usual time, maintain your regular eating routine, have tasks that you would like to complete and get to bed at your regular time. Additionally, find routine with family members- create healthy boundaries with your spouse and children for when you need alone time, or time to get your work done.
Supporting your children
This crisis is unfamiliar to everyone but can be particularly challenging for children. Set time aside to check in with your children’s emotions. How are they feeling about being away from friends and school? What do they understand about the virus? Reassure them that you will keep them safe and that while things are different, we will be okay. And finally, be mindful of how much news they are exposed to.
Expect to have challenging days
Our emotions are not static- they change day to day and moment to moment. Difficult feelings are not bad feelings and are to be expected at this time. When you feel stressed or anxious, let this feeling come and experience it. Our emotions Peak and Pass- meaning they build up and can be challenging, but ultimately come back down. No feeling is permanent. Practice self-care during this time and find a quiet place; reflect on what feels overwhelming to you and find healthy ways to cope like talking to a friend, exercising, or relaxing.
With technology today, it is easier than ever to connect with other. Text, video chat, email and phone friends and loved ones. Check in on each other, watch a show together, and make sure that those who are vulnerable are doing well. We are all in this together and need to support one another whenever we can.
If you need additional support, please reach out. Peachey Counselling & Family Support is continuing to provide counselling sessions via telephone and video chat. We are here to help so please get in touch. While we support you, please support our healthcare providers by staying home!