Welcome to May and the end of another week in our almost two-month long lockdown with Covid-19! As we look around and listen to the news, there is increasing hope that by following guidelines and increasing testing we may soon begin to find our way back to some kind of ‘normal’ that we recognize. We know that this time is coming so in addition to our ongoing advocacy and efforts on your behalf, the OAMHP will continue to inform and clarify wherever we can.
We also want to acknowledge that this week has marked the 69th annual Mental Health Week, highlighting the ongoing need for increased awareness of a field we all know well. This initiative in the time of Covid-19, perhaps more than ever, reminds us all to focus on promoting behaviours and attitudes that foster well-being, support good mental health, and create a culture of understanding and acceptance.
With this in mind, I would like to offer up some suggestions on ‘adapting’ to the world we currently live in. I purposefully have used the word adapting as I believe what is required from us as we go forward is change and an adjustment of our attitudes about many things.
Staying home, working from home, and/or offering crisis support to the frontline is NOT our regular job. Accept that there is a lot being thrown at us with anxiety and stress added as seasoning. None of us are immune nor superhuman and if we expect to be able to do it all with the skill and grace we had outside of this pandemic, think again.
Being apart can feel isolating, it is good to reach out to others on a regular basis. Consider too that being together all the time can irritate so try a bit harder to be thoughtful and patient with those you are ‘literally’ close to. We need to lower our expectations of ourselves and those around us and life will be less frustrating and hopefully feel better.
It is also good to keep in mind the bigger picture and that we are not in this alone. So here some key thoughts on adapting while staying home and saving lives:
- Give yourself a break and adjust your expectations
- Remember, many items we like and enjoy are not essential to life
- Focus on what you can do, rather than what you cannot
- Stay connected and be kind wherever you can
And my favourite, ‘view this pandemic as a chapter in a book you are writing – chapters always end and if this is your book then how it plays out is totally up to you’ – Robert Leahy, PhD., New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
One last note in keeping with being positive, please watch for an update early next week on our changing Cyber Insurance policy options and in the coming weeks some recommended guidelines about preparing for a return to work. Again, we are not there yet but hope to be soon, so in the meantime be well and stay safe.
For those of you celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend, I wish you a wonderful time!
If you have any thoughts on adapting, questions, or other concerns you want to discuss then please do reach out. Always happy to hear from you.
Suzanne Dennison DCS., RP, (cert)OAMHP