The global pandemic has greatly changed the course of our lives in a short matter of time. How can something so small have an impact so immense? How can we be asked to rapidly adapt to lose our income and have our freedom stripped away from us while we sit here in fear and uncertainty? How can we be asked to still present ourselves at work while conditions aren’t safe for us? How can we expect to homeschool our children and work from home? How can we expect to quarantine ourselves form our children because we might have been exposed to the virus? The questions revolving around our pandemic are endless. We are overloaded with continuous information from numerous sources. It can be confusing and mentally exhausting.
We have created, with the best of our knowledge and our hearts, a few pointers to help you get through these difficult times.
If you are required to stay home, focus on yourself and your mental wellbeing in the best possible way. This is a time where your attention is derived to only what’s internal. This can be challenging but if you approach this with the feeling of being trapped, your anxiety will increase. You can use this opportunity to slow down and focus on the small little tasks or hobbies you have always wanted to accomplish. Avoid long exhaustive lists. You can plan your schedule and activities the night before to help you better organise your next day.
2. Call a friend or a family member:
Fear, stress and anxiety are all normal feelings. And expressing these feelings is even more normal. Have someone you can call and truly express yourself and your emotions to. At the same time, be that friend. Do a wellness check by calling friends or family members to make sure they are ok. Schedule video-chat dates while sipping wine in the comfort of your home. You can still have social contact from a distance.
3. Get your facts straight:
Not everything on the Internet is true. Make sure that the information you read and decide to share on your social media is coming from a reliable and legitimate source. Follow the advice of experts and local and government authorities. Be smart.
4. Practice social media distancing:
Put that smart phone down, turn off the TV or the radio. It’s good to stay informed but do not overexpose yourself to the C-word. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of misinformation that is going viral and this can elevate our sense of fear.
5. Keep busy:
Blow the dust off that book you always wanted to read, get that canvas and paint brushes out of the attic, start your online wedding photo-album you wanted to create a decade ago, watch that documentary on Netflix you’ve wanted to watch since 2017, clean those baseboards you’ve always wondered when you’d have time to clean…
6. A smile & a thank you go a long way:
This is not the time to participate in social media wars and online battles. Focus your attention on making someone’s day better. It can be a simple Thank you & a Smile to the grocery store clerk or a nice message to a friend who is a health care worker. Spreading positive energy is greatly needed during this pandemic.
7. Stay healthy:
Don’t lose focus of yourself. Hydrate plenty, go outside for small walks to get a little bit of fresh air, focus on eating healthy, plan ahead your healthy snacks, meditate, and enjoy online fitness programs that you can easily do in your living room. Focus on what you CAN control.
8. Talk to your children:
School and extracurricular activities are cancelled which is greatly impacting the lives of your young ones. This is a learning opportunity to teach your children how the right actions can help their community’s wellbeing. Encourage self-care in your children, plan their activities the night before for a structured schedule the next day, and share the right information with them. Acknowledge their feelings but don’t be scared to be transparent about yours. All emotions are valid and kids can be great listeners even if it doesn’t always seem that way. Reassure them that you are protecting them and that you love them. Often, that is all that children need to hear.
9, You are not alone:
Most of us are required to stay home to save lives, while others are battling the war on the field. We’re asked to act selflessly and to put our needs aside today for a better tomorrow. Everyone has an important role to play and we will get through this together.
10. Community Services:
The current situation can be much more difficult for those who are more vulnerable. Some have lost their only income and have many mouths to feed. Some live alone and have limited support from their surroundings. Some are newly arrived immigrants facing new challenges. Some are victims of domestic violence. The list can go. Situations are tense and unstable. We’ve included a list of available telephone numbers in our community that offer assistance during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Distress Centre of Ottawa: 613-238-3311
- Tel-Aide Ottawa: 613-741-6433
- Ottawa Food Bank: 613-745-7001
- Fem’aide: 1-877-336-2433
- Elder Abuse Prevention: 1-866-299-1011
- Covid-19 Help line for individuals living in Qc: 819-664-4545
- Tel-Aide Gatineau: 819-775-3223
- Moisson-Outaouais: 819 669-2000