I appreciate there are many people offering suggestions, ideas, and strategies for managing through this difficult time. At the risk of adding to the cacophony of information, I do feel I want to offer you a few questions to consider, and share my perspectives, in the hope that some of what I am offering may provide you with support.
A few tips from me to you:
- How do you need to stay connected?
- Who are the family/friends/colleagues who give you energy?
- Who needs your energy right now?
- The upside of this pandemic is that many of us are in touch with people that we haven’t been connected to in awhile, or are connecting with people more often – also we are creating new relationships i.e. perhaps getting to know our neighbours better over the balcony or back porch
- Where/How can you give yourself 2 minute breaks?
- We all need to find some time – even if it’s only a few minutes at a time – to take a break – take a breath – and recharge.
- Take some deep breaths – preferably of fresh air if you can get it! Do this for at least 2 minutes at a time – and if you’re at your desk in front of computer or working directly with clients/patients – take break at least every 90 min – even if it’s only for these precious 2 minutes of deep breathing
- Where could you “disconnect”?
- Turn off your phone (at least for some times if at all possible)
- Lets all stop watching the news 24/7. While it’s important to stay current – pick a time or a way to gather current information – but not hourly!
- What physical activity are you able to do?
- As people are able – physical activity is really good for the soul and is often the first line of defense for those suffering depression and/or anxiety.
- Given we may not be able to do our regular routine, find ways to try something differently i.e. a Pilates class on line vs. in person – or get out for a walk (being sure to “Physically distance”) or a bike ride
- Remember – try to find something you enjoy – you’re much more likely to do it.
- What do you now have time for that you didn’t have before?
- This may be time to learn or do something new OR
- This may be time to re-think time
- relax and give yourself a break – we have become very good at being “busy” – perhaps it’s time to re-think what’s important – what makes us happy and brings us joy – what do we want to be spending time on?
- How do you need to frame or re-frame this event?
- i.e. “we’re not “stuck” at home… we’re “safe” at home
- What are you grateful for?
- Practice gratitude. What are you grateful for today – it could be that the sun is shining, or that you do have time to make those cookies or call that friend, or that you helped a scared client/patient, or supported a staff member or colleague, or that you have a home to self isolate in… there is lots to be grateful for
- How are you able to offer help to others?
- What can you do i.e. sew masks; connect with someone who’s alone; pick up groceries for someone who can’t get out; volunteer if you have the time? Think about how you can help someone else – doing things for others also has the benefit of making us feel pretty wonderful
- How are you saying “thank you”?
- I’m banging pots on Saturday nights along with my neighbours as we remember and thank all those on the front lines
- Would someone you know appreciate a more specific thank-you?
- Thank the cashier in the grocery store as you’re checking out
- Do you need to reach out?
- If you are really struggling, consider speaking with a professional i.e. physician, religious leader, psychologist, social worker, coach and/or call a help line i.e. Kids Help Phone https://kidshelpphone.ca/ if you have kids who are struggling, or the Distress Centre Toronto https://www.torontodistresscentre.com/408-help-line
We will get through this – we are learning together! We are connected! We are resilient!
Take good care!