Many people are experiencing feelings of stress or anxiety coping with the Corona virus. Dr. Jayne Hanna, a registered psychologist in Toronto, was asked what she would recommend to her patients if they said they felt stressed. She suggests the following:
Take action by doing things within your control:
“With things changing so quickly, it’s a situation that leaves a lot of people feeling out of control. This can cause people to feel anxious,” says Dr. Hanna. Anxiety often stems from feelings of powerlessness. But finding a task that makes you feel in control can be helpful. “Focus on the things you can do,” Dr. Hanna says.
Monitor your news intake:
“Limit your news intake if you feel that’s what’s getting your nerves up,” she says. She suggests staying off social media and relying on credible news sources instead. She also recommends allocating specific times of day to check the news. “Rather than being online and checking constantly, give yourself set times to check for updates,” she says. It’s possible to stay informed without it becoming all-consuming.
Take your mind off things:
Find ways to relax and distract yourself a bit.
1. Read the book you’ve been meaning to read for a while
2. Write a letter or email to a friend
3. Reorganize your living space
4. Play a board game
5. Take a virtual tour of a museum
6. Exercise with an online fitness or yoga class
7. Learn a new language online or with an app
8. Do some batch cooking or meal prepping
9. Have a bath
10. Paint, draw or sketch. Or practice your calligraphy
“Panic happens when adrenaline is being sent off from the brain,” Dr. Hanna explains. “Adrenaline has a life span of about 15 minutes. It doesn’t feel good while it’s happening. When you tell yourself “stop, stop, stop” you end up making yourself more anxious. Rather than trying to stop it, tell yourself ‘It’s okay to be anxious right now.’ Then ask yourself ‘What can I do to soothe myself?’ Feelings of panic can be very powerful. It’s important to remind yourself that despite what you are feeling physically, it’s just anxiety and that these feelings will pass.”
Comments from Rev. Mary:
“Read the book you’ve been meaning to read for a while” – read your Bible! How many times have you told yourself that??
You are in control – you monitor your “news intake” – the Bible has lots!
You can take your mind off things – the Bible will help you do this.
Panic attacks – to help soothe yourself and calm down, try reading scripture which soothes your soul and calms your spirit, especially the Psalms.
The Bible has so many wonderful stories – do you remember some? Read the book of Esther (Queen Esther), the book of Ruth, King David’s story is fascinating (1 & 2 Samuel), and read the many parables and teachings of Jesus found in the New Testament.
Assignment: find Abigail in the Bible. She is my favourite lady. So gusty and brave.
Happy reading! Rev. Mary
Dr. Jayne Hanna’s comments taken from this article: