Coping with Anxiety

Our world changed greatly in 2020. We joke about how we wouldn’t be surprised if…. And you can fill the blanks with things like, “an asteroid is forecast to hit earth” or “dinosaurs return”. We have all seen those memes and other jokes on social media where there’s “new” scary animals depicted.  While we joke about these things, for some people, it’s hard to laugh at things like that when we are living in such an unprecedented time. At this point, a lot of people are scared of what’s to come. Being scared of the future is a cornerstone of anxiety. With the Pandemic, we feel uncertain of what today, tomorrow, next week, next month will bring.

There are people who now have anxiety that didn’t previously have it. First and foremost, having anxiety is not something that you should feel embarrassed about. In fact, many experts believe that every single person has anxiety at one time or another and how severe it is, is dependent on how we are able to cope. 

Do you have any good strategies for coping with anxiety?

At the Pottle Centre we believe that self-care is one of the most important things that we can do to help ourselves. Self-care comes in many forms- above all; it is something that you do for you, which is neither harmful to you nor self-destructive. 

Going for a walk or a run can be something that takes cares of you, especially if you enjoy exercise. If we get moving, we also get endorphins flowing and those are chemicals naturally in our body that can make us feel happy. Maybe walking or running is not your thing but how about dancing in your home? Perhaps when you are sweeping your floor, you can do a little boogie!

Many people feel that music also improves their mood.  No two people are exactly the same in their musical tastes but there are so many talented artists, there’s bound to be something that you find soothes you or maybe energizes you. Many people often listen to music when they are doing less enjoyable tasks such as cleaning the house.

Reading is an excellent way to let your mind relax and perhaps get carried away to the setting of your book. Right now, a lot of people admit that they are finding it hard to concentrate on reading so maybe instead of a book; you choose a poem or short story or even the lyrics of a song. There are a couple of second hand book stores in the city which can cut down on the cost of buying brand new books. You could also consider asking around to borrow books. If you use social media, that is an excellent way to find some new books, ask to do a book swap with your friends. 

Having a nice bath or refreshing shower can either help you sleep better or give you a jolt to wake you up. Light a couple of candles, add some bubbles and your bath could be the one thing in your day that you know you can look forward to and know that it will help out your good and your bad days.

Drawing, painting and colouring are all great ways to express yourself, as well as relax. You might think “I’m not that good at it”, remember that you are doing this activity for self-care and not so that you have a masterpiece worthy of hanging in an art gallery. With so many dollar stores on every corner, this activity can be fairly cheap as well, whether its crayons or paint brushes and paint.

Some folks like to create something new and enjoy crocheting, knitting, doing needlepoint or sewing.  Sometimes keeping busy with your hands helps take your mind off of the things that are drowning  your thoughts so working a on a jigsaw puzzle or a crossword puzzle can keep your hands busy in a constructive way. 

While these things aren’t going to make you 100% better after doing the activity once or twice, they can certainly help your mood and your emotions.

If you are feeling low, please reach out. There is a Mental Health Warm line that is offered by CHANNAL, 1-855-753-2560.

If you feel that it’s more than feeling low, you might feel that you are in a crisis, call the Mental Health Crisis Line at 737-4668.

At any time, you feel you need help; you can also go to the Waterford Hospital, PAU which is the Psychiatric Assessment Unit.

The Health line is 811 and a registered nurse can give you advice over the phone- this is also a number to use if you are unsure of COVID-19 signs and symptoms or have questions. It is also a good idea to see your own family doctor to get more information on how and why you feel the way you do, your doctor can make recommendations for next steps which could include medication, counselling and various other forms of therapy.