We’re sure you’re all feeling anxious and a little concerned about not only the mounting number of cases of CoVid-19 in general, in your specific region, but also the amount of unknowns floating around. The constant stream of numbers, statistics, facts, figures and SO much chatter surrounding all of it, that you cannot help but feel pressured. Despite resisting jumping on the bandwagon and adding to the noise, we felt it important as we write about the importance of a healthy mind, we would be remiss to remain silent. Trust us when we say, we have been very much affected by the impact of the virus, R1 was laid off from her job, R2 (as she works part time) has not worked in almost a month, our mother is high risk due to her diabetes and we will miss out on a major addition to our family as we do not know when we will be able to meet them. 🙁 That being said, we have been trying to remain positive and keeping optimistic and wanted to share some helpful tips which we have actively been adhering to which has helped to reduce some of the tangible stress floating around. Read on and see if they can be helpful to you guys as well and feel free to let us know what you have been doing to reduce your anxiety.
Prioritize Your Mental Well-being:
This is important. Everyone is saying it, but that’s because everyone is feeling it and because it is important. Do not suffer in silence, do not sit in your anxiety. Acknowledge it and speak about it. Share it. Seek advice or help. Don’t carry the burden alone. There are multiple resources available to us, doctors and psychiatrists are performing virtual sessions, you can reach out to Friends For Mental Health, CAMH, your local CLSC or find resources from CPA. When we say PROTECT your mental wellbeing we mean it, if it means cleaning up your social media and only follow people who uplift you- do so. If it means taking 15 mins everyday and simply meditating or praying-do so. If it means listening to music, singing, dancing, being creative-do so. What we find so interesting is that we are living in a time when we can all accept that there is a collective level of anxiety felt over the fear of the unknown and the depth of its impact on literally ALL of our lives. Maybe, just maybe it will allow us insight and ultimately help to make us much more compassionate towards others who live with this as part of their daily lives before the pandemic.
Find Small Joys:
There is literally no way you can do something wrong, whether it be reading, painting, taking up a new hobby, learning a new language- anything that brings you joy. Be it big or small, if it allows you to relax and have some form of a mental break from all of the Corona Chaos we have all been feeling. Most importantly, if it brings you joy then by all and every means, leap wholeheartedly into it. In our house, we have been reading a lot more, being more creative through colouring and cooking up a storm. We have been watching new television shows, which make us laugh (Family Reunion) and simply doing a lot more talking. We have also made a habit to take daily walks, as a means of getting fresh air, but also in order to keep fit and to keep our spirits up. The photography bug has rebitten for R1 and that has helped to pass the time as well. We are lucky we live in an old part of the West Island, so there are plenty of picturesque places to walk to. If there is one piece of advice we can give is-whatever it is, find your joy.
Especially as the level of uncertainty being at a high along with restrictions, we need to find ways to bring not only small joys but little things we can indulge in- but that don’t take too much work to execute. Like make yourself a “fancy” coffee or making a meal you normally wouldn’t have time to make. Redecorate or even rearranging your furniture or try out that new make up tutorial you’ve always wanted to. We are slowly ticking this off of our list, and R1 plans to do a make-up video soon, in order to feel human again and also, why not? After all, we not only have the time but anything that will prove to lift our spirits in the slightest and also add to making staying at home so much more pleasurable.
Write It Out:
Knowing us, you had to know that we would suggest writing as one of our tips, it is something that has served us well but most importantly it is a way for us to sort out our thoughts. It provides a way to look back and see our progress, but also is a marker during the down times. Understandably, no one wants to dwell too much on the sad, confusing and negative feelings during this time, but at the same time, writing is a very cathartic process. Also, this is something no one has expected to happen- the whole world has shut down. Entire cities have ground to a halt, this would be a great time to collect how we’re feeling and create a sort of memory time capsule about this unprecedented event. We found a great print out capsule from Long Creations and we thought it was a great way to record and sort through thoughts, but also creative and you know we love that. It is somewhat geared towards children, but it’s still great for adults as well! She has graciously offered it free of charge to be downloaded in various ways, but if you would like to give a donation- she suggests to gift money to a charity in your area. Download it here.
A lot of the feelings which overwhelm us is because we have a lot of unknowns. Having something to look forward to or tasks we can accomplish while remaining at home can help to make the time past, but also add to making us feel like we have had a mildly productive day. Making a checklist of even the most mundane things can still give us a sense of accomplishment for achieving it!! We have been creating lists, some longer than others and some simple daily lists- but they’re being ticked away nonetheless.
I can understand how it might sound so easy for us to suggest these things that you could occupy yourselves with each day, but they are not things that we are not doing ourselves. We may we far a part right now, but we are never truly alone. We are all in this together and the stress can roll off of your shoulder, when you put your energy into something that makes you happy and distracts you just that bit longer. Ca va bien aller! We will be okay!