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🌿 We are going through tough times right now but amidst the difficulties, we are seeing amazing unity between people, communities and nations. More than ever we are all working together and stepping up to help the vulnerable and people in need.

 

Our government and major banks are also following suit and have prepared packages for those of us who are without work and are experiencing financial strains of different kinds.

 

We are forced to go back to basics. A great lesson will come out of this terrible situation which is affecting everyone around the globe in an unprecedented way. We can truly say that we are all touched by this in one form or another. ALL of us, without exception. Rich or poor, and everything in between, this is the great equalizer.

 

We are coming to the realization of what really matters in life: connection, food, shelter. The fluff is no longer important or essential.

When planning for this pandemic, what comes to mind? Do I have enough food? Enough medication? What can I do to stay active physically and stay safe? What can I do with my kids? How can I keep busy at low or no cost while confined to my house? How do I work from home? What can I do if I have no work?

 

It has forced us to be creative, resourceful, reach out and ask for help, as well as reach out and offer help to those in need. It has forced us to redirect where we spend our money. Prioritize our health over material things. It has forced us to learn to cooperate and look beyond our belly button. To look outside of us and see that we are all connected and that the choices we make have an impact on more than just ourselves. Our choices, big or small,  have a ripple effect to a greater extent than we can ever imagine.

 

This virus is a wake-up call. It has forced us to live in a way that is more sustainable. Shop locally, stop overspending on things (or you won’t have anything left for emergencies), eat whole foods, don’t waste, save some for others, share, help, unite, have proper hygiene because we can make ourselves and others sick, connect with your kids and do less, embrace simplicity and the basics in life. Basically, this will force many to re-evaluate their values, what matters most and the choices they will make from now on.

 

The world, while still turning, has forced us to come to a halt. In the meantime, animals in nature are coming out to play because we are no longer a threat. We are now the ones in captivity and living in fear. The tables have been turned on us. It has been clear in the past few years that something had to give and that we needed to wake up.

We had multiple nudges but it wasn’t enough. People did not listen… now they are forced to. The world as we knew it is no longer. We cannot turn a blind eye and expect it will have no impact. It will catch up with us, whether we want to or not, in some way or another.

 

Many are still in denial about the gravity of the situation and they are still placing people at risk unnecessarily. It is sad. Our society has become very self-centered and self-serving and some are already paying the price. This will need to shift. We all need to do our part and think of the impact of our individual choices and decisions on the whole. Whether it be relating to how we raise our children, how we treat the environment and other people, who we vote for and what companies we support.

 

As we go through this massive global shift, it is important more than ever to come together and be agents of change. And this starts in our families. So, for now, we are all confined to our homes and we are forced to be creative, deal with each other, respect each other’s spaces, learn to cope, basically.

 

Once the novelty wears off, we will see stress levels increase. We need to prepare for this and instead, set in place prevention strategies… Stop being reactive and be proactive.

 

How do we do this?

  • Create routines and rituals for you and your children. It brings stability and reduces stress.
  • For now, this is the new normal, so stop resisting it, accept it, and make adaptive choices to THIS new normal. Stop resisting, it will make it much harder for you to be resourceful.
  • If you have to work from home, have a designated space. Even if that space is small and cannot be behind closed doors. Designate an area and tell people around you that when you are in that space you are not to be disturbed.
  • Take a lunch break and a couple of breaks during the workday. And shut down at the end of your workday.
  • Respect each other’s style: introverts need time away  & alone to recharge, extraverts need time with others to recharge. Don’t take it personally, it is not a rejection. Give each other that space.
  • Keep up the self-care, exercising from home (change your routine- find a new way).
  • Don’t numb out on TV or screens all the time. Trust me, it will creep up on you and you will feel dissatisfied with life.
  • Go on a news diet. Really limit it to the minimum and the necessary. There is no need to keep updated on the latest mortality rates. You are stuck at home. Stay safe and healthy. Get the news that is useful (e.g., government aid, assistance programs, helpful warnings and advice). No need to look at the news that will just make you more anxious. It is not useful. You are just traumatizing your brain over and over again.
  • Do NOT expose your children to the news and educate your teens about this as well.
  • Get involved in creative projects, no matter what they are. Whether it is art, models, puzzles, drawing, music, dance, cooking, taking apart a small engine, science projects, journaling, scrapbooking, collecting, knitting, sewing, writing, etc… the sky is the limit on how we can get creative and engage the mind. This becomes your meditation. You get in the flow and this is very calming.
  • Practice mindfulness, meditation, gratitude, yoga, tai chi, walk in nature… they are all calming and grounding for the mind and the body.
  • Work as a team in the house. Assign chores, tasks etc. Help each other. Kids need to learn life skills, civics and ethics… 
  • Get the App Insight Timer on your phone or tablet. It is simply amazing. It is FREE. They don’t advertise and that is why many people don’t know about it. Save money and use this free app which has podcasts, guided meditations for all kinds of issues (for children and adults). It is quite complete.
  • Focus on the positive. Do not live in fear. It will reduce your immunity. We don’t want that. The health care system is already taxed enough. Practice stress management and teach your family as well. No good comes out of stress.
  • Join this community if you need support. It is a positive community that I and a friend, Richard Robins, a wonderful social worker, lead. Ottawa’s Pandemic Mental Health Support Group is on Facebook.
  • A resource book for parents that I keep updating. Parents Resources Booklet  

 

So, that’s it for now. Stay safe everyone, practice social distancing but keep in touch with loved ones. And, finally, embrace this special time. Good will come out of it and try to see the silver lining.

 

🌿P.S.: If your children are struggling with fear or anxiety I have posted 3 guided meditations for children 6 to 12 yo. They are narrated by my daughter when she was 6 and 11. Go to the App Insight Timer and you will find them there.  A review on iTunes would help people find us!! I would really appreciate it.

 

🌿ANNOUNCEMENT.: I’ve been working diligently on my membership site. It will be chock-full of resources of all kinds (online courses, audios, videos, PDFs, book recommendations, resources, helpful lessons AND an online community where we can connect and ask questions, Q & A calls).

 

Those who know me, know that I aim to serve, so please submit any suggestions of content you would love to see in there or in my newsletter.

 

Wishing you all ✨to stay safe and healthy ✨!

 

With gratitude,   🌿

Dr. Gina

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