Even the darkest night will end and

The Sun Will Rise

-Victor Hugo

Together We Shall Overcome It              

 

Our worlds have changed. Here are just 5 simple strategies to help us all cope with the uncertainty and ambiguity that belongs to COVID 19.

  1. Stay Connected

 In an intriguing paradox, digital technology and social media have been blamed for barriers to mental health. Now it is one of   our best buddies!!

  • Stay connected with friends, family via online platforms and phone when practicing social distancing. Connecting with others stimulates lots of different brain activity! Oxytocin is stimulated, a hormone that plays a key role in social bonding, to overcome uncertainty together.

  • Stay home with family, watch a movie, have a board game night, bake cookies, cook a favourite meal.

  • Speak truthfully to your children about COVID 19 in an age appropriate way. 

  • Social media is wonderful, be sure to shut off devices 30 minutes before bedtime for better sleep quality! It’s a fact!

     2. Stay Physically Active & Physically Apart

  • Do work outs from home or watch an online exercise video.

  • Walk or go hiking as a family together mindful of course of social and physical distancing. 

  • The way we engage with activities directly impacts our brain activity and promotes well-being. It's another scientific fact!

  • Physical exercise stimulates endorphins, a natural pain killer that help us minimize discomfort both physically and mentally.

   3. Self-Care

 A) Self-sooth with our 5 senses as  a simple step to develop  distress tolerance to the uncertainty of COVID 19.

 

  • Taste: treat yourself to a tasty dessert, drink a hot chocolate or favourite smoothie. Avoid alcohol to regularly self-sooth

 

  • Touch: pet your dog or cat, use body lotion, take an extra-long shower, soak in a bath

 

  • Sound: sing or hum your favourite new song

  • Smell: Bake bread, open a brand-new shampoo! Light a scented candle, lemon or lavender.

  • Vision: View some old family photos of times gone by. Watch the sunset or sunrise, the stars at night

  B) Practice Mindfulness to develop more “comfort” with uncertainty of the future by cultivating a stronger connection to

   our present moment. Turn your mind to the present moment with loved ones rather than imagining the worst uncertainty.         Listen wholeheartedly, connect with your senses, and become aware of your breathing moment by moment. Meditate daily.

     C) Worrying excessively about the uncertainty of COVID 19?

 

Specific  “Worry Time” is a cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) tool to help develop control over the frequency of worrying.  Research designed it based on a stimulus control training model that shows us how to contain and schedule our worrying for a specific period each day. Worry Time frees our minds to focus on life and living in the now.

 

We all worry in times of uncertainty. It helps us problem solve and think things out. However, once we worry excessively it then tends to be coloured by a negative bias. For example, catastrophizing – the worst-case scenario, the “What if’s”

 

Create a “Worry Time” to limit the amount of time and energy you spend worrying about COVID 19. The worry habit will start to diminish in intensity and frequency. When we give in to our mind’s pull to worry, at random intervals throughout the day, then the worry habit will strengthen and intensify our distress about the uncertainty of COVID 19.

 

Changing a habit like chronic worrying takes a systematic multi-faceted approach. Telling yourself to worry less won’t be effective. Paradoxically the brain likes to do the opposite of what you tell it not to do. Complex yes, so have a go at a “Worry Schedule” to start decreasing worry, but it’s probable that additional work will be needed to shift more entrenched worry patterns.

So what exactly is Worry Time anyway ?  This is how it rolls:

  • Schedule worry time each day, at the same time for one week.  Put it in your calendar.  Start by setting aside 15-30 minutes during the morning or afternoon, or no later than 2 hours before bedtime. 

  • During that 15-30-minute window, on one side of the page write down all of your worries about COVID 19. 

  • Writing the worrisome thoughts down can be therapeutic in and of itself, as it often lends perspective over what’s troubling, in a way that can be more powerful than internal reflection.

  • Decide if it is something that you can take action to resolve, even partially. In that case, its therefore known as a “current problem”, (isolation due to social distancing) or something that might happen therefore known as a hypothetical problem/worst case scenario (business closure or job loss or even serious illness, hospitalization, or death).

  • Between worry times remind yourself to “unhook” from those worry type thoughts until the next Worry Time to enjoy the present moment now with loved ones, family to keep us all safe. 

 D) Gratitude, Acceptance, and Compassion

 In this times of crisis focus on practical steps to overcome it. Focus on family now more than the uncertainty of the future. ​

  • Share gratitude for family, friends, first responders, the healthcare workers, all of us together as one world, and the people that connects our world as we confront COVID 19. List 5 items to express gratitude of oneself, others and the  world. 

  • Acceptance of the emotion and setting a commitment to act is the key starting point. Set your intention to take steps to reduce current or potential problems, for example,  isolation/loneliness or illness risks. Then plan to address or prevent it.

  • Focus on compassion for self and others with a wise mind, loving kindness, resilience and courage to act bravely in these times of crisis and uncertainty . 

     4. Schedule your day

While working from home, or self-isolating, or self-monitoring symptoms or social distancing; schedule pleasurable activities too.

Challenge yourself to learn a new skill or sing a new song. 

Listen to  “Sing for Life” or “Let Your Love Be Known” written by Bono inspired by the Italian resilience to COVID 19:

"As an act of resistance, sing across roof tops, sing to me down the phone, talk about isolation, and dance away the pain"

"Sing there is no distance, you're never alone". Watch the collaborative video by Bono Will i am and Jennifer Hudson

Here’s the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz-DoaHi3zo

     5. Stick to reliable news sources on COVID 19 updates

905-276-7103

905-467-5377

  • Indeed


WEB PAGE DESIGN BY GEORGE CAFFREY-CRAIG