Updated: May 21, 2021
Coping With Uncertainty
We are living in unprecedented times. Like you, the staff at Flourish are adapting to new routines and shifting perspective on limited mobility and interactions. In these uncertain times, we want to offer encouragement and support to help you maintain balance and wellbeing as best we can.
The entire world has had the rug pulled out from under us. From one day to the next, the global situation changes; we don’t know how long this will last, or how we will come out of it. Additional fear and worries over health, job security, finances, and the economy only add to our stress levels. With this global pandemic, we have limited information and no road map to guide us, and this overall sense of uncertainty can lead to anxiety, increased worry, depression, and distress. While it is completely normal to experience fear and increased anxiety, we still want to do our best to manage our physical and mental health. So, what can we do to live well despite uncertainty and anxiety?
1. Perspective is critical. Choose to embrace gratitude instead of negativity. Consider how shifting your language can shift your perspective: connection versus containment, restoration versus isolation, etc. When we choose to look for the good, we will find the things we can be grateful for, like extra time to read a book, afternoon naps, pursuing a new hobby, or organizing that closet that’s been messy for months.
2. Reach out! Physical distancing does not mean we need to be distant socially. Pick up the phone, hop onto FaceTime or Skype, and stay connected to those you care about. Talking to someone you trust can help you normalize, accept, and move through distressing feelings.
3. Stick to a routine. Keeping a healthy lifestyle that includes good sleep, diet, exercise, and connection helps us feel more normal and productive, and is one of the biggest recommendations for people who are now working at home.
4. Choose good coping strategies. While it may seem easier and more enjoyable to use smoking, drugs, or alcohol to deal with negative emotions, these can increase anxiety and depression. Alternate strategies like exercising, mindfulness, journaling, getting out in nature, or talking to a mental health professional are much better for you.
5. Limit social media consumption. While Instagram and Facebook can be useful tools for remaining connected with friends and family, it can also lead to information overload. Too much information can lead to increased agitation and emotional upset. Choose reliable sources to gather necessary information (like the World Health Organization or the Government of Alberta websites), and limit time spent watching the news or scrolling through media.
6. Reflect on how you’ve managed difficult times in the past and draw on the skills you utilized during those times. What helped you manage previous adversity? What has been calming or reassuring in the past? For many people this can include leaning on their faith, listening to podcasts, reading self-help books, or employing strategies like mindfulness, meditation, and journaling.
Lastly, know that you are not going through this alone. We are all in this together. There is one thing we know for sure about humans: we are resilient, we are strong, and we can overcome. There are resources and strategies available to you that can help you feel stronger. Talk to your mental health professional today or visit one of these two amazing resources:
24 Hour Crisis Line: (403)266-HELP (4357)
Online Confidential Chat: www.distresscentre.com