In the midst of this global COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, hopeless, depressed, and anxious. Nataxja Cini, MSW, RSW, speaks with CTV news anchor Leslie Roberts about dealing with the effects of COVID and ways to manage your anxiety and other emotions during this latest lockdown in April 2021.
How Are We Feeling Right Now?
Life is already full of stress and as a result of this pandemic, you may be experiencing several major stressors at once, making you more vulnerable to depression and anxiety.
Many of us are angry, feeling let down by our government, frustrated at losing our jobs, fearful of getting sick or going bankrupt. Working parents are tired of homeschooling or juggling kids and work. We may never have imagined we would, but yes, some of us are even missing being stuck in rush hour traffic! As we go from day to day dealing with the effects of COVID, many of us are feeling lonely, isolated, missing friends, social contact or desperate to go back to our routine that was carefree.
It’s important to know you’re not alone in feeling so many different emotions as we enter another lockdown. These are ALL normal emotions. It’s important you listen to your emotions but don’t get stuck in your anger, rage, fear or sadness.
The boredom, loneliness, and stress of being in lockdown, financial struggles or juggling your job and home schooling can overwhelm even the best of us. You aren’t the only one struggling and it’s important for you to know when to reach out for support and help through anxiety counselling in Ottawa.
We are seeing increases in reports of moderate to severe anxiety in adults who have teens and children at home right now. Parents and their kids are having a rough time. Women are reporting higher levels of isolation and loneliness. And we’re seeing many youth and young adults stating that they are experiencing moderate to severe anxiety.
What Are People Doing to Cope?
Unfortunately, some of us are using unhealthy ways for dealing with the effects of COVID. Maybe you’re drinking too much, abusing prescription or street drugs, overeating or not eating enough, spending too much time gaming or even sleeping in an attempt to self-medicate your mood, avoid problems and your emotions.
While these unhealthy methods may provide a brief break from reality or may boost your mood, in the long run they’ll make your depression worse and may increase feelings of anxiety or helplessness. These are temporary escapes at best. The better and more effective alternative is to seek professional counselling in Ottawa at a therapy clinic near you.
Healthy Coping Activities Are:
- Getting enough rest.
- Exercise, even if means simply getting outside for a walk.
- Eating more vegetables and fruits instead of sugar and processed foods.
- Reducing your consumption of negative news.
- Keep a healthy balance between work and your home life.
- Take a break from electronics and do something that helps you feel recharged.
- Speak with a psychotherapist or your doctor if you are feeling overwhelmed or you are not sleeping.
ABLE Coping Technique – for reducing your stress and anxiety
ACKNOWLEDGE and accept your emotions.
BREATHE – take a few slow deep breaths or doing my favourite 4-7-8 breathing.
LET GO of your need to control or let go of that unhelpful thought. You don’t have to respond to every thought you have.
EXPLORE whether your thought is just a thought or it’s a fact. We have many thoughts but not all thoughts are real. Now focus on another experience with your full attention.
Need the right advice and professional help dealing with the effects of COVID? Call Family Therapy to book a counselling or therapy session at a location near you.
If You Need Support, Reach Out to:
- The Canada suicide prevention service 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645
- Bilingual Crisis Line: (613) 722-6914
- Distress Centre Ottawa & Region – Crisis Line: (613) 238-3311
- Tele-Aide Outaouais Sans frais: 1-800-567-9699
- Ligne d’intervention (Gatineau): (819) 775-3223
- Ligne d’intervention (Ottawa): (613) 741-6433
- Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 – text “HOME” (or “PARLER” for help in French) to 686868
- Indigenous people nationwide – To talk in English or French, as well as Cree, Ojibway or Inuktitut upon request, call 1-855-242-3310