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In these crazy, upside-down days of COVID-19, we are all trying our best to keep up with current measures….in our workplaces, in our communities, in our provinces, and our country.
As an Association, VRA is always concerned about our members, and of course, about the people, we are working with. We trust you are managing at home, working remotely, or whatever situation you’ve had to devise.
Doreen Marshall, PhD, of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, offers the following five tips from on how best to manage over the next while. Use them for yourself, or please feel free to pass them on to whomever you feel might appreciate them.
- Separate what is in your control from what is not.There are things you can do, and it’s helpful to focus on those. Wash your hands. Remind others to wash theirs. Take your vitamins. Limit your consumption of news (Do you need to know what is happening on a cruise ship you aren’t on?).
- Do what helps you feel a sense of safety. This will be different for everyone, and it’s important not to compare yourself to others. It’s ok if you’ve decided what makes you feel safe is to limit attendance of large social events, but make sure you separate when you are isolating based on the potential for sickness versus isolating because it’s part of depression.
- Get outside in nature–even if you are avoiding crowds.I took a walk yesterday afternoon in my neighbourhood with my daughter. The sun was shining, we got our dose of vitamin D, and it felt good to get some fresh air and quality time with each other. Exercise also helps both your physical and mental health.
- Challenge yourself to stay in the present. Perhaps your worry is compounding—you are not only thinking about what is currently happening but also projecting into the future. When you find yourself worrying about something that hasn’t happened, gently bring yourself back to the present moment. Notice the sights, sounds, tastes and other sensory experiences in your immediate moment and name them. Engaging in mindfulness activities is one way to help stay grounded when things feel beyond your control.
- Stay connected and reach out if you need more support. Talk to trusted friends about what you are feeling. If you are feeling particularly anxious or if you are struggling with your mental health, it’s ok to reach out to a mental health professional for support. You don’t have to be alone with your worry and it can be comforting to share what you are experiencing with those trained to help.
Whatever you are doing to get through these difficult times, please take care and stay connected!