Omicron getting you down? Here are some ways to cope

·2 min read
Uncertainty in the face of another pandemic wave is a big part of developing anxiety. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
Uncertainty in the face of another pandemic wave is a big part of developing anxiety. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

It's been a disappointing week for people hoping for a more normal Christmas this year.

With P.E.I. passing its previous high for active cases (47), currently sitting at 49, new public health restrictions have been put in place, forcing people to rethink and adjust their holiday plans.

"Everybody's starting to have the conversations again," psychologist Nadine DeWolfe told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier.

"Those conversations we've been having over the last 21 months that sort of fade and come back, they're certainly strong again."

DeWolfe shared some tips on how to cope with this week's bad pandemic news.

Share what you're feeling

It won't help to bottle up your emotions and hope they go away.

"We need to take some time and talk about how we're feeling, and start to identify the emotions that we're experiencing," said DeWolfe.

"Anxiety, anger, fear, sadness, acknowledging that we're overwhelmed."

Find a friend or family member you can talk to, and while you're at it, give them an opportunity to talk about how they're doing as well.

Focus on what you can control

Feeling that there's nothing you can do is a source of anxiety.

There are things you can do. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date, follow the public health guidelines.

Make sure the information you are getting is trustworthy.

We have a much better understanding of how COVID-19 works now. Focus on the progress, rather than the setback.

Take a break

Spending too much time reading or watching the news about the pandemic can be counterproductive.

"That chronic exposure definitely escalates our emotions," said DeWolfe.

Take the time to distract yourself with some physical activity, or maybe watching a movie or television show that creates a different kind of emotional experience.

Have confidence

Twenty one months into the pandemic it can seem overwhelming to be facing another wave.

But remind yourself that we are 21 months in. This is not new.

"We know we can handle it now, because we have been. We've been coping with it," said DeWolfe.

"Yes, we're hitting another wave, let's let that wave wash over us and say, 'We've got it this.'"

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