Supporting Your Mental Health in Unprecedented Times
Updated: Oct 27, 2020
With the COVID 19 crisis we are all experiencing an immense change which will have implications into the future. We are maintaining social distancing and may be working from home, or continuing work with the public, or are not working and uncertain where and when we will. We may be isolated and alone or we may be struggling with the demands of those we share our living space with, without much opportunity to get a breather. All of this leads to feelings of fear and worry, perhaps anger and frustration. We may be grieving loss of income, of freedom, and of life as we have known it.
Change as Opportunity
With all of these changes, there is also opportunity. This diagram is about how we can move from our comfort zone, which is a familiar place where we feel safe and in control, through our fear zone, into learning to growth. The good news is that we may have already been bumped out of our comfort zone and into the fear zone. From here, we can draw on resources we already have, but we could also learn new skills to deal with our challenges and thus move into an area of growth.
For me, this pandemic has been a reminder that our precious planet is smaller than we think and that we are all interconnected-whether we are in China, Italy or Nova Scotia. How we take care of ourselves and others in our work, homes or neighbourhoods has never been more important. Since many of us are being forced to slow down, this can be a time to reflect on what we value and how we want to live our lives.
Taking Care of Ourselves
Stay connected to people you care about, through video technology or telephone. Social connection can actually enhance our mental health and our immune systems.
Be kind to yourself and others. This isn’t easy for any of us and kindness to others can also help us feel good.
Exercise is a great way to release tension and stress. If possible, get outside for walks or a bicycle ride. Even sitting in the fresh air might help.
Acknowledge your challenging emotions and give yourself permission to have them.
If you feel tension rising in you when interacting with someone, take time out and remove yourself or take a few breaths to calm yourself.
Now may be a good time to reconnect with old skills or learn new ones like mindfulness, yoga, breathing exercises, or qigong.
Here’s a link to resources in Nova Scotia to support your mental health during the Covid 19 crisis, including video on managing emotions and on meditation https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/mental-health/
To learn more about the work I do or if you would like to talk, contact me at https://www.oceantidescounselling.ca/contact-page