BY GWENDOLYN FRIEDRICH M.SC. CPC, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE CARING PLACE
“Unprecedented” is a word frequently used to describe societal response to COVID-19. The virus is causing uncertainty, and an ever-changing understand of what is happening. No one has been left unaffected by the Virus. Thousands have lost their jobs. Hundreds have been infected with the disease. Not one of us is without fear about what this will do to our nances, our families and our future.
So, what can we do to not only overcome stress but also learn new skills that will help us thrive now and throughout our lifetime?
Here are some great ways to help you slow down your mind:
- Practise deep breathing - To do this close your eyes and focus on your breath. Take a deep breath, filling first your belly and then letting it ll you all the way up to the top of your lungs. Hold it for a few seconds and then let it out through pursed lips. Repeat this and as you do think of each new breath as taking in a blessing, and each exhale as releasing your worries.
- Listen to quiet music - classical music can reduce both pain and stress, relieve depression and increase feelings of self esteem!
- Go for a walk - Any exercise helps to reduce stress and makes you feel more connected to your community, which is especially important during these times of social isolation. Looking at green spaces reduces your levels of stress and increases your sense of well being. It also reduces cortisol—high levels of cortisol are associated with poor mental and physical health.
- Practice mindfulness - An easy way to start is to create a Mandala (you can nd lots of examples and instructions on the web).
- Connect with family and friends—even if it is by phone or online. Try playing online games together OR form a book club or study group.
- Write down positive self affirmations - and carry them with you.Read them throughout the day. Start with “I am going to be OK. This will pass.”
If you need more help call a professional to help you. The Caring Place is a great choice. It is a charitable non-profit mental health and addictions counselling centre offering about 8,000 hours of counselling support annually on a sliding scale so that everyone can get the help they need. We have been part of the Regina community for over 30 years.
With the COVID-19 crisis we are working hard to provide services to counteract the mental health impacts. We have introduced an on-line counselling platform, which allows one on one counselling as well as special group sessions including FREE depression and anxiety support groups, and Group Mental Health First Aid for a small fee. To register for any of these, call our front of ce at 306-347-2273 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org