By Anita Manley
The times are changing quickly, and we know now to self-isolate and only go out when absolutely necessary, wash your hands frequently with soap and water, don’t touch your face (especially nose, mouth and eyes), cough or sneeze into a tissue or crook of elbow…wash your hands, again.
A tip for washing your hands and your mental well being: List 4 gratitudes while washing for 20 seconds. For example, with a lather in hands while washing between fingers, thumbs, and back of hands — count — 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and gratitude (I am grateful for the beautiful yellow tulips I bought) — 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and gratitude (I am grateful for the sound of spring with the birds chirping outside) — 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and gratitude (I am grateful for the health of my family) — and finally, 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and gratitude (I am grateful for the time I have to focus on self-care). Rinse your hands and dry them. Now you have clean hands and an uplifted spirit, too.
It is normal to feel anxious, fearful, even panicked about the current global pandemic. In situations like these, Andrew Jacobs, a Psychologist at The Royal recommends making a list of things you do have control over. My list looks like this:
- wash my hands frequently, always before eating and after coming in from outside.
- don’t touch my face (unless I just washed my hands)
- cough and sneeze into crook of elbow, or tissue – then wash hands
- STAY HOME — I am fortunate to be able to do so.
- only go out for essential items (effective today, I have decided to do online shopping for most items)
- go for nature walks (try to get 10,000 steps in a day)
- stay away from the gym (instead exercise at home or go for walks)
- knit (I’m knitting beautiful headbands, in a brioche stitch, for friends/family)
- write (writing in my blog after an absence and writing for a project requested months ago)
- read all those books I have on my bedside table
- listen to music, play music and have a sing along with my husband (a very talented musician)
- cook — try some new recipes
- watch Netflix (catching up on episodes on my favourites list — watching with my partner)
- Keep in touch with family/friends over text, social media, Zoom.
- Hold essential meetings virtually
- And for extra fun — I’m participating in a virtual knitting group on Tuesdays at lunch!
We can do this! Make your own list of things you CAN DO — so that you feel in control and empowered. It will lessen your anxiety.