In these days of COVID-19, there is so much uncertainty. Our generation has not seen anything quite like this, that has the world virtually on a “stand still”. Borders are closed, many are stuck in countries unable to return home to their families and friends, people cannot travel as freely, and people cannot visit with neighbors to say hello.
Our last national holiday, Easter, looked very different for people who would typically gather in places of worship or visit with families. We seem to be getting more disconnected than ever before!
With all this going on, how are you? How are you really doing? Please pause for a bit and think on this. How are you coping? For some, it is just another ditch in the road, so we keep moving. For others, it is like a wrecking ball, things are not looking good. It is many things to many people. Whatever it is to you, know that you are not alone, even if you are physically apart from other people.
One positive spin is that we are now able to think of creative ways to stay even more connected. Nothing will ever replace that hug or holding hands or taking in the smell of those we love and want in our space, yet we can make lemonade if what we have is a bag of lemons. Meaning let us truly try to make the best of this situation that is not ideal. We are fortunate we have the internet, let us use it! Make that video call, text that friend, make a date with a friend and watch a movie together at the same time online.
Let’s get on our social media if we have that and show love to our loved ones. Let’s not spread fear or hate. If you are older or do not know how to use the internet, if you have someone around you please ask them, if good old phone calls are great! Maybe someone you call can walk you through how to use the internet. If you live in a seniors’ residence, ask the staff to show you, they would be happy to.
When you are feeling sad, lonely or afraid please reach out to someone. Please do not go through this time alone. I know things are hard financially for many, so reach out to find out what services or grants are available at this time. We are fortunate to live in a beautiful country, where things are not always easy, but the government, community organisations and many people are working to make things easier.
Pay attention to your mental health. Do not ignore how you are feeling.
Some simple things to try:
- Start the day feeling grateful you are alive.
- Breathe in and feel the oxygen going through your lungs, many admitted in the hospital cannot breathe for themselves, especially this season.
- Think of your family here or abroad, be thankful you have them in your life.
- Go for a walk. Yes even with Covid, you can go outside for a walk, just maintain social distance of 6 feet (2 meters/ 2 arm’s length) from another person.
- Eat healthy, drink lots of water and move around even indoors.
- Watch a good movie, read a good book, get on the phone – call someone and socialize!
- If you are on medication, please take them. Reach out to speak to your psychiatrist if you feel you are unable to cope. They are taking virtual/video consults.
- Use online resources e.g. join the Anxiety Canada town hall meetings for different topics about coping.
- You can keep your hands busy and go through this workbook for mental health – Tolerance for Uncertainty: A COVID-19 workbook
- CAMH – The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, has a wonderful resource with questions and answers on practical steps to go through this season.
We care about you; we want you to stay healthy, happy and well in this season. We are together even though apart. We are here for you!
Gift Madojemu | TAYFFI Health Coordinator