The implications that have resulted from the outbreak of Covid 19 have been unprecedented and life altering. Many people have and continue to face challenges related to financial strains, school and business closures, changes to work opportunities and schedules, along with simply connecting with others on a day-to-day basis. Understandably, all these changes can trigger feelings of fear, panic, Covid anxiety, sadness, anger, and stress. Consequently, in addition to following the physical precautions guidelines, we at Hasu want to encourage and support individuals in taking care of their psychological well-being. The following self-care tips are not exhaustive but rather suggestive in helping you cope during these challenging times.
1. Monitor your stress reactions and anxiety levels. Remember that in stressful situations some level of covid anxiety and depression is to be expected and is normal. As a matter of fact, it can provide adaptive benefits in many situations. However, when faced with mounting uncertainty, such as being in a once in a lifetime pandemic, your brain can go into an anxiety spiral becoming no longer helpful. A typical stress reaction may include temporary difficulty concentrating; irritability and anger; fatigue; stomachaches; and difficulty sleeping. An atypical stress reaction may include: a persistent and/or excessive worry that doesn’t lift and keeps you from carrying out your daily tasks. If you experience significant changes in your energy level, eating patterns, or sleeping patterns, difficulty concentrating on normal tasks, prolonged and overwhelming worry and hopelessness, then it is important to seek help or counselling for Covid 19.
2. Remain aware of and set boundaries regarding information. Getting regular, accurate information is important. However, continuously scrolling through social media or constantly refreshing the news can lead to increased Covid 19 anxiety. So, pick a few trusted news outlets to stay abreast of the news and commit to checking once or twice a day for updates. And remember that if you are feeling overwhelmed it is okay to take a break and temporarily unplug!
3. Take care of your physical wellbeing. Practice good self-care which can include exercise, eating healthy foods, and getting adequate sleep at night. If possible and safe to do so spend some time outside to get some fresh air. (Follow the safety guidelines-wear masks, maintain physical distance, etc. when doing so).
4. Maintain Social Connection. Covid Isolation and loneliness can feed anxiety so while practicing physical distancing is encouraged, utilize technology (phone, internet, webcam) to stay connected with extended family, friends, colleagues, faith-based communities, and social organizations to strengthen your overall feeling of connection.
5. Identify Uplifting and Meaningful Moments. Try to cultivate a mental wellness practice, such as writing in a gratitude journal, or talking nightly with your family about moments during the day that were fun or enjoyable. This approach can help to create a sense of hope and optimism for the future.
6. Practice Mindfulness. Mindfulness tools like grounding exercises, sensory modulation, and deep breathing can be helpful in regulating our overall emotional responses to stress.
Remember that we at Hasu are here to help and support you during these difficult times and that all of our therapists are currently offering Covid 19 therapy & counselling. If you are interested in learning how to integrate any of these tips into an individualized mental wellness plan, please know that Hasu therapists are here to support you either through phone, video, or text message.
Darlene is an experienced, empathetic and passionate Registered Psychotherapist with extensive experience providing individual and family counselling to those struggling with mental health and relational difficulties. Darlene currently serves as the Clinical Supervisor and Practice Consultant at Hasu eCounsellling.
Topics: Covid Help, Covid Isolation & Covid Depression in Canada