By Dr. Tammy Wong — Ph.D., C.Psych. (Supervised Practice), R.P., R.M.F.T. & Counselling Team of 105 Gibson Centre
It is over a month that we need to practice social distancing! Some of us may have adjusted to the new routine of life and accepted the new reality. Some of us may have grown more agitated, lonely, anxious, fatigued, stressed, and depressed. Some even experienced trauma when getting the virus themselves or witnessing their loved ones being affected by the virus. It is not easy to keep calm and balanced in the uncertainty and isolation.
There are signs that you may have more serious psychological distress:
Emotionally, you feel irritated, frustrated, numb, sad or agitated.
Physically, you have less energy, cannot sleep well or lose appetite.
Cognitively, you have too many negative thoughts, concentration problems and poor memory.
In behavior, you always argue and fight with family members, withdraw from people, eating or sleeping too much, or having some sorts of addiction such as alcohol or drugs.
In taking care of oneself, one can stabilize and ground yourself in this crisis. Everyone has different interest, level of flexibility and self-soothing preference. Therefore, it is a time to understand oneself and be attuned to one’s feelings.
The following is a list of coping strategies that one can pick and try: reducing media exposure, distraction, prayer, journaling, drawing, coloring, listening to music, a walk in the nature, gardening, using a relaxation app, breathing exercise, mindfulness, doing something fun, sewing, organizing closets, following online exercise, reading, listening to podcasts, baking/cooking, watching movies, Zoom meeting with friends, delivering care baskets to others…
It is a time to take care of our basic physiological needs, need of safety and need of belonging! Doing that, we may find meaning in this pandemic and, hopefully, we may even reach the needs of esteem and self-actualization by strengthening our resilience and faith through prayer, patience and perseverance in all kinds of threats and difficulties!
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If you feel lonely, stressed, or have worries at this time, please TALK with us. We are here to LISTEN. You can call our FREE HELPLINE and start the conversation.
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