Since the onset of COVID-19, Stillar Psychological has been closely following the latest developments of the now pandemic, including its implications for our clients as well as Albertans in general. As distressing times often challenge our mental health and well-being, we have outlined some strategies, resources, and activities to help you cope with the potential stress you may be experiencing during this difficult time.
It is important to keep updated with the latest information, however it is equally important to be cognizant of all the misinformation and rumor. Consider reliable sources such as World Health Organization, or the Alberta Health Services.
It is also equally important not to over-saturate yourself with news. Yes, stay up to date on what is happening so that you are properly informed but it is not helpful to listen to the news for hours on end or have it playing in the background throughout the day. Re-hearing the same updates over and over will increase your stress levels and fear.
Set a limit with yourself around how often or frequently you check the news. Once or twice per day is a reasonable amount of time to stay up to date on the latest announcements.
Do not check it before bedtime. It will likely negatively impact your ability to sleep well.
Social distancing is important but so is staying connected with your community, especially in a time such as this. We are so lucky to have so many options for social connectedness via the internet and technology. Identify your support networks and communicate through social media, telephone, or video chat. Talk about other components of your life rather than talking about Coronavirus. It is important for us to stay connected to the many other aspects of our lives such as our hobbies, self-care, memories, fun things we are finding to do at home - share these ideas over social media so that we can all benefit!
As the mind is connected with the body, so the body with the mind. A routine of healthy diet and sleep, along with proper hygiene habits will keep you psychologically healthy and physically strong.
Our emotions aren't meant to be bottled-up. Manage your stress by identifying ways in which your emotions can be appropriately channeled. Think about what you like doing, take some time for yourself. Here are some ideas for you to check out:
Cook a nice meal
Light a candle in your favourite scent
Listen to an audio book
Cuddle with your pet
Take a bath
Watch a nature documentary
Create a space at home that is only meant for pure relaxation
Write a well-done list at the end of the day to acknowledge all that you have accomplished
Set a reminder on your phone saying "You're amazing!"
Many of us are feeling cooped up and bored as we may be cut off from the activities we normally do. Try integrating into your daily routine one creative pursuit, maybe something you love to do or something new that you have never tried before - painting, drawing, coloring, working with clay, making collages, creating scrapbooks, creative writing.
37 Bright and Easy Painting Ideas (free)
Beginners Acrylic Painting Course Online (free)
Beginners Self-Portrait Online (free)
Acyclic Pouring Technique (free)
Music can greatly affect our mood and sense of stress or well-being. Try turning on some relaxing or uplighting music throughout the day rather than having the news or radio playing in the background.
Here are some links to relaxing playlists on YouTube:
Think about what you would do if the worse was to happen. How would you react? Are there ways you can prevent it from happening? What is within your control and what is not? Putting an effort in preparing for potential scenarios can go a long way in reducing stress and anxiety in the days going forward.
Many of us struggle with issues of control, under typical circumstances. This type of concern can be exacerbated during a global health crisis wherein we may feel even less in control of our lives. It can be helpful to remind yourself of the many aspects of your life you do have within your control. Below are links to activities that you can do at home to help if you have worries or issues related to control:
How to Stop the Worry - Circle of Control
Discover Your Circle of Influence and Control
Great creative with it! Here are many ideas about how to make this activity a creative pursuit - https://www.pinterest.ca/search/pins/?q=circle%20of%20control&rs=typed&term_meta=circle%7Ctyped&term_meta=of%7Ctyped&term_meta=control%7Ctyped
Meditation, rituals, prayer, communing nature, attending a virtual service, connecting with your spirituality on a daily basis.
In the case you feel overwhelmed by your emotions and the persistent negativity of their effects, then maybe it is time to seek help from a professional. At Stillar Psychological, our commitment towards you remains unhindered, we provide a safe and clean office environment for our clients, as well as telepsychology options for appropriate circumstances.
Check out this great video that shares 7 simple and easy things you can do to take care of your mental health during this COVID-19 Pandemic