Earlier this week, I was interviewed by a local TV station, CHCH in Hamilton, about anxiety, depression and self-isolation during COVID-19.
I wanted to share the questions that were asked and my answers, in the hope that they may be helpful to you during these uncertain times.
Please know, I am here to help you navigate these unchartered waters! Check back often for updates and resources.
How do you handle anxiety and depression during self-isolation?
- Limit the time you spend watching and listening to the news. This includes news apps and social media. Many people who are not regular consumers of news are spending hours watching and reading the news. Constant news updates are causing a dramatic increase in anxiety for people.
- Connect with family and friends using video apps or telephone. Remember to connect with individuals that do not have computers or internet. Reach out if you are feeling isolated.
- Engage in new activities. Challenge your brain. Exercise. Get outside, but remember physical distancing. Meditate using free apps like Insight Timer.
- Connect with a counsellor or therapist via video or telephone. If you have an EFAP (Employee and Family Assistance Program) through work do not hesitate to contact them for support.
What tips do you have for people who are now working at home and also trying to manage their children at home?
- If two adults are working from home consider the tag team approach. Take turns watching the kids. This approach works if you can modify your work day by stretching your hours over a longer time period.
- Develop a daily routine. Children cope better with structure and stability.
- Get older kids to help with younger kids. A child who might not yet be of an age that permits babysitting alone will still be helpful with a younger sibling.
- If you are worried that the kids are watching too much TV consider muting the television and turning on the subtitles if your TV has this capability. Presto – the kids are reading.
Is this an opportunity for parents to teach children important life lessons?
- Children are like sponges and will be watching your behaviour and especially how you handle anxiety. Role-model healthy coping mechanisms. Give your kids practical coping strategies to self-soothe. Utilize music, drawing, arts & crafts, physical activity, stress play dough, or teach them something new that is a practical life skill.
What is the most important thing we can all do to get through this?
- Remember that we are all in this together. Focus on what you are grateful for each day. Be compassionate and kind with yourself and others.
- Follow the direction of the medical community and practice social and physical distancing, as well as hygiene recommendations.
- Remember that you are safe at home. Stay home and help stop the spread of COVID-19.
If you are experiencing anxiety and need support, I encourage you to reach out. Click on the link here to book an appointment. All appointments are done via telephone or ZOOM, which is a secure video conferencing platform. Help is only a click away. Take care. Stay healthy and remember that this too will pass.
Listening. Guiding. Caring.