Rising coronavirus cases, closures of bars and entertainment venues, uncertainty about Christmas gatherings: the stress of Quebecers has increased dramatically in the past days. Here are 5 tips from the experts to keep the ball rolling.
It’s important to remember that we collectively managed to get through the lockdown during the holiday season last year.
“What did we do last year to get us out of this?” “If you succeeded last year, you will work again this year,” says Georgia Fracas, a professor in the department of psychological education at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres (UQTR).
Quebec’s high vaccination coverage means that the situation is much better than it could be, if we compare the province to other similar places that have vaccinated a smaller portion of its population.
“Although there are many infections, we don’t all pick up at the same time in the hospital,” rejoices Kim Lavoie, a professor in the department of psychology at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM).
Listen to yourself and others
If Christmas dinner with the family is stressing you out too much due to the health situation, feel free to reconsider your plans. Georgia Fracas endorses the importance of “respecting yourself and finding creative ways to adapt to the situation.”
However, we must not forget about the children, who are going through the same turmoil, and calmly talk to them about the situation.
“You have to listen to them and welcome the disappointment they will experience. There have been Christmas activities planned at the school or family celebrations canceled. They will not be able to get on the knees of Santa Claus or go to see him,” explains Nicholas Berthelot, Professor of Psychology in the Department of Nursing at the University of Queensland. In the shopping center.
Normalize your anxiety
We don’t know what will happen. “This fear of the unknown is completely normal,” says Professor Fracas.
The turmoil of the last days is very large and requires changes in plans at the last moment.
“All this unpredictability causes anxiety for many. [Il est important] To allow yourself to live it, to feel it, to the point of being angry, and annoyed with what is happening, or to gasp for breath,” continues his colleague Berthelot.
Focus on what we control
Even if December 24 arrives in two days, the road is still far away. It is better not to expect yourself in the future unnecessarily, because the situation may change.
Melissa Genero, a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences in the University of Sherbrooke’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences, suggests, “Put the focus on what we think is a little more than that within our reach, which we control rather than on what makes us increase our anxiety.”
“What can I do to have a nice day?” What can I control? ‘,” continues Kristen Groe.
Despite the tightening of procedures, it is still possible to enjoy the snow, listen to soap operas, cook or organize video meetings with our loved ones, for example.
Don’t overuse the information
When we’re living through a tough time, the fear of missing out comes back strong.
“We’re going back to our old ways: What’s going on? How many cases are we in? We’re looking for something that will fuel that pressure.” […] “We get the impression that it gives us a sense of control, but it doesn’t tell us what to do,” Melissa Genero says.
Also watch out for messages on social networks, warns Kim Lavoie. “The more we expose ourselves to all the messages of frustration, disappointment, panic, and anxiety, the more disastrous we feel,” she says.
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