In these uncertain and unprecedented times, there is a lot to think about; so much so that it can be hard to focus, prioritize and think straight. We are thinking about our families, our coworkers, the people we support and people we don’t even know. It’s a lot.
Here is some helpful information that can help us refocus from the Emergency Medicine Ottawa Blog and developmental sources.
A great resource to support children during this time, is the COVIBOOK linked below on how to talk to children about the Corona Virus. The book is available in 16 different languages!
1. Knowledge is Power but Reduce the Noise
It’s easy to get lost in the information we are being inundated with. Every single corporation I’ve ever given my email address to has sent me a COVID related message lately.
Read reputable news sources. Consider turning off notifications on your devices and limiting your social media access. If it is making you feel anxious, take a step back. You can always come back once you’ve had a break
2. COVID-19: Fact versus Fear
There is a lot of information flying around these days. Sometimes it’s easy to get confused between what is opinion, myth or fact. Try to stick to the facts of what is known right now.
Here are some reliable sources:
3. Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst
4. Now is the Time for Self-Care
In times of chronic stress, our body systems start to accumulate stress, and we start feeding off the stress of others and vice versa. Research shows us that emotions are contagious. How are you and your energy affecting those around you? It’s important you are in-tune with your stress-response systems and re-set minimally twice daily. Two minutes is amazing, or 30 seconds can help too.
5. Connect, Don’t Completely Isolate
Maintaining connection (even from a distance) with your people is critical. Find alternative ways to connect with those who make you feel safe, secure and calm, such as FaceTime, What’s App, phone calls and online forums. If people you are connecting with are increasing your own anxiety, take a break from them. If you feel like you need other support, access your EFAP program, or online and remote counselling and mental health supports.
6. The Status Quo: Maintain Routine
In times of unknown, maintaining your status quo routine as much as possible will help keep your equilibrium and your body and mind calm. Keep your regular sleep/wake patterns, eat at the same times you normally do, get dressed, brush your teeth, go outside for fresh air and exercise regularly.
Taking care of yourself is absolutely crucial in this unknown. Much like the oxygen mask on and airplane- you have to have yours on before supporting others. Engage in self-care and look out for each other. We don’t know what comes next but confirming we are taking care of ourselves and those we care for will ensure we are ready for what this adventure may bring.
Stay safe and well,
Amelia Larson, MSW, RSW, BASc
Clinical Practice Lead
Aspen Family & Community Network