In recent days, our lives as we know them have been turned upside down, and it’s unclear what “normal” is anymore. It is fair to say that feeling anxious, unsure and helpless during these times is very common and expected, given the circumstances. Despite all that, there are things we can actively do to help ourselves, even in times of crisis, to manage these feelings.
Look for What is in Your Control
There are many things right now that are entirely out of our control, which can add to the chaos and anxiety we feel. However, many things are in our control. Focusing on these things can help with how we respond to what is happening in the world around us.
- You can control what information you take in. Unplug from social media. Silence the chatter of groups, people, or pages that contribute to the anxiety. It’s one thing to stay informed, but it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole of information, and this can often be counter-intuitive, particularly if you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Having a plan can help create a sense of control. Listen to the advice of health authorities. Ensure you have two weeks’ worth of food, medical supplies, and household products available to you in case you need quarantine yourself. There are lots of recommendations provided to help guide what is appropriate at this time, follow these to help yourself feel you have taken the steps you need to at this time!
- Choosing to practice social distancing and staying home is a powerful choice that helps the community. If you are at home, you are in control of how you spend this time. Consciously thinking about this time as an opportunity to spend quality time with our loved ones, trying out new recipes, reading a good book, doing those things around the home we always talk about wanting to do but can never find the time, taking up a new hobby or learning a new craft, can help take your mind off your worries and create a sense of purpose.
We’ve been told to minimize our physical interactions with other people, but there are other ways to stay connected to people we care about. Calls, text messages, and video chat platforms can help us to maintain meaningful connections with friends and family when we can’t physically be near them. Making sure we are keeping emotionally connected with people in our lives can help lift our spirits and fight off feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- You can also stay connected and help others around you in your community. You can pick-up groceries and drop off at their doorstep if you know of a neighbour or friend in self-isolation. You can help support local businesses through online or gift card purchases, and you can donate to organizations that are serving vulnerable individuals and families. And helping others can also help you feel better!
Keep a Daily Routine
This includes things like sleep, diet and exercise, and time for yourself. Sure, this might look a lot different than it did before if you are practicing social distancing, working from home, or self-isolating. However, keeping a somewhat set routine will help you feel a little more in control of the situation, and provide some structure and a sense of normalcy to your days. Keeping a similar sleep/wake schedule rather than staying up late and sleeping in, regular meal times instead of snacking through the day, maintaining regular work hours, or creating a routine for your children are all ways that can go a long way to brighten your spirits and keep you going.
Seek Help if Needed
Despite these suggestions, you may still find yourself struggling with feelings of anxiety, helplessness and hopelessness, and that’s okay. If this is the case, you can reach out to a counsellor through our Rapid Access Counselling program, where they can meet with you virtually using the video conferencing platform Zoom and provide you with a place to talk and brainstorm solutions to what you are struggling with.
Visit booksinglesession.cfs-ab.org to book an appointment.
If you are in crisis, the Distress Centre Calgary is available 24-hours a day at 403.266.HELP (4357)
In addition to the above resources, you can also check out the following: