April and May have been tough months in Nova Scotia as we’ve had to cope with the disappointment, stress and anxiety caused by increasing COVID cases and the restrictions put in place to curb them. If you’re like most people, you are doing your best to stay calm and follow the rules, but that can feel incredibly difficult at times. Even if you’re not anxious about health related matters, there’s also stress from the constant changing of plans, intensity of parenting, the isolation from staying socially distant and the economic impact on businesses that has people on edge.
Signs of Emotional Distress and 6 Ways to Cope
In many of my sessions with clients, I’ve often heard people use the term languishing to describe the way they are currently feeling.
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low motivation
- Apathy towards previously enjoyable activities or experience
- Zoning out on social media
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs
If you are experiencing these things right now, here are some ways you can cope:
1. Limit Media Consumption
Hearing the media constantly spread panic isn’t good for anyone. It’s important to stay rational and do your own research to uncover facts from fiction as well as stay positive.
2. Nurture Your Body and Spirit
Be sure to get outside for some fresh air and go for a walk. Eat right and make sure to stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep. Avoid consuming too much alcohol and try and find fun ways to reconnect with your family.
3. Tap into Your Sense of Fun
If you have kids, you know how tough pandemic parenting can be! In the midst of your own exhaustion it can be hard to feel creative and fun. Rather than seeking something Pinterest worthy, some good old-fashioned playtime instead. Play hide and seek in the house. Create an obstacle course in the back yard. Watch some of your favourite funny movies. Laughter really is the best medicine so get plenty of it!
4. Support Your Local Community
Many local businesses are hurting right now. If you’re still getting a pay check, consider buying a gift card from a local restaurant, gym, hair salon, etc. to give them revenue now and you can use the card later. This will make you feel great at the same time.
5. Be a Role Model
Remember, your kids will ALWAYS look to you first to see how they should be thinking and feeling about something. So move about each day calmly and confidently and reassure your kids everything will be okay because it will be.
6. Use Your Time Constructively
For many of us, there is a silver lining in this situation in the form of extra time. What can you do with the extra time that isn’t being used to drive an hour or more each day in commuting? Focus on using this time wisely. Maybe you have an ever-growing list of home projects that you just never have time to tackle. Tackle them now, you’ll feel great about it later.
If you find yourself becoming too stressed or depressed during this time, I encourage you to connect with us Therapy in Bedford | Bedford Couples and Family Therapy & Counselling (bedfordtherapy.ca)
Speaking with a therapist can help you cope with the situation and navigate the days ahead. You can book online Our Therapist Team | Bedford Couples and Family Therapy | Nova Scotia (bedfordtherapy.ca) or call us on 902 800 4627. We offer free 15-minute phone consultation so you can feel confident your clinician will be the right fit and we can answer any questions you might have.