By Dr. Thomas S. Li, C. Psych. (Clinical Psychologist) & Counselling Team of 105 Gibson Centre
With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are isolated and distressed. Fears, anxieties and worries are threatening our physical and mental health as we face the increasing uncertainties in our lives[i].
In coping with the situation, we need to enhance our resilience by embracing OPTIMISM[ii], which can be learned and practiced through Positive Thinking, Healthy Activities and Emotional Management.
Let’s stay strong and keep well by trying out the following suggestions:
- The pandemic is affecting the whole world, everybody including myself are in the same boat and we will fight together to win.
- I can contribute my part by following experts’ advice and share the victory.
- It will not last forever and we will come out of it stronger.
- It may get worse before it turns better.
- We must hold up and remain strong and undeterred in our efforts despite some setbacks.
- Resilience will pay off and enhance whatever we may choose to do in the future.
- I know myself better and gain new experiences in facing solitude positively.
- Structure your daily activities[iii] and follow the set routines and get a sense of achievement at the end of the day.
- Clean, tidy up or organize your living space and feel good about it
- Read [iv] for pleasure or self-development.
- Do some intensive exercises [v] at home or take a walk in the neighbourhood.
- Watch news to keep abreast of current affairs in the morning and evening but avoid over doing it.
- Volunteer to help people in need, e.g., grocery shopping for seniors living alone, serve in the Food Bank, check out a neighbour in need by phone, etc.
- Enjoy solitude and cultivate your talents in baking, cooking, music, drawing, poetry, horticulture, interior decoration and much more…
- Stay connected with your loved ones – practice distant socializing by telephone, video-communication, text messages…
- Practice relaxation using audio-visual resources from trusted sources available online.
- Avoid excessive worries by focusing on the present “here and now”.
- Live life one day at a time and take things one step at a time.
- Find solace in prayers and meditation using, for instances, Psalm 23 and Philippians 4: 6-7 in the Bible.
- Practice mindfulness [vi] can help us let go of worries and bring ourselves back to the present moment. For example, focusing on the gentle movement of your breath or the sound you hear around you, can serve as helpful ‘anchors’ to come back to the present moment and let go of worries.
- Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal and review them later. Try to review your negative thoughts and feelings and find some positive alternatives that can keep you optimistic.
Lastly, 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.
105 Gibson Counselling Helpline (FREE)
Phone: 647.918.1205(SMS, WhatsApp or voice message)
WeChat ID: counselling105Gibson
Please leave us a text or voice message along with your name and contact phone number. We will respond in one business day.
[iv] Headways: Books’ Key Ideas (Google App)