Updated: Mar 22, 2020
Over the past week, the pandemic has caused a lot of change in a short amount of time. One day can feel like one week. The aocdf would like to mention these tips for those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
1. Sit with the emotions and allow others to sit with theirs. It can be frightening to see our parents and/or loved ones struggle with anxiety, panic, fear, anger, hopelessness, etc. Since they are our main supports and/or caregivers, we look to them for safety/security. When they panic, we panic! These feelings may be heightened for them, and it is normal. Their feelings are valid and so are yours. Try to sit with the emotions and deal with them instead of suppressing them. Be curious and observe how you are feeling. It may hurt in the moment, but it will help in the long run.
If you are in need of support and unable to turn to your main supports, try reaching out to others or follow Facebook or Instagram accounts like yeg.pediatric.psychologist who list several ways to remain calm and combat anxiety.
2. Boundaries. You can tell others, “I don’t want to talk about the Corona Virus right now.” OR "Can we watch something else besides the News?" It is okay to set boundaries. It is also okay to tell others, "I am afraid."
3. Make a daily routine. When you wake up, have a shower and change out of your pyjamas. Eat breakfast at a regular time. If you are working, reading a book, doing schoolwork, or helping your children with schoolwork - write out a daily schedule to help organize the day and maintain some normalcy. (Eg. 8am - shower, get dressed. 9am - do schoolwork. 10:20am - exercises/walk. 11:00am - schoolwork. 12:00pm Lunch. 1pm Schoolwork. 2:20pm art/craft/music. 3:20pm Done. Free time!)
4. If you find yourself about to panic, try this grounding exercise.
5. Pay attention to your thoughts. What are they telling you? Our thoughts affect our emotions which then affect our actions. Try to be aware of negative or anxious thoughts and attempt to reframe them. Here is an example how to reframe your negative or anxious thoughts using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (cbt).
6. Read helpful quotes to maintain in touch with reality and to boost your mood. Optimism does not involve ignoring negativity. It is the acknowledgement of the negative but then choosing to focus on the positive. At its root, it is simply the belief that despite the current circumstances, things will work out favorable in the end.
7. Learn about the Corona Virus. Sometimes we fear the unknown. If we face what we fear, it becomes less fearful. Exposure Response and Prevention Therapy is the treatment for OCD and it teaches us to "Face your Fears." We cannot deny what is happening in the world right now. It takes bravery to acknowledge it. What do you know about the Corona Virus? Watch this short video to understand World Health Organization.
8. Please know you are not alone experiencing anxiety, financial distress and loneliness. Many are feeling the same way. There are many other people who can relate. Reach out, we can help each other get through this, even though we are physically separated. Maybe make a nice sign in your window for your neighbors to read ❤️. You may make someone's day with a hopeful message!
There is the Alberta OCD chat rooms to speak to others who also live with OCD and understand the strength of the fear. To be able to chat with others, go to the aocdf home page, become an aocdf member and download the WIX app on your phone or iPad. Through the app, you can chat one to one or join a OCD group chat room. We'd love to see new members!
The government of Alberta is setting up financial relief to Alberta’s families, vulnerable populations, local businesses and employers. How to Apply for $573 Per Week Under Emergency Isolation Support Program? Alberta is setting up an online application through alberta.ca by next week. A one-time payment of $1,146 will be deposited in the accounts of eligible recipients beginning at that time.
9. Be kind to yourself and to others. Remaining calm and confident can change the energy in a room. Here are simple ways you can bring positive energy into your life right now.
10. Connect with your friends📱💻, laugh and smile. It is ok to enjoy life in a time of crisis. Play games, cards, do art, start some garden seeds, go in your yard or on the balcony or engage in the leisure/hobbies you enjoy. Just because you are happy, does not mean you do not care about the effects of the virus. You must remain healthy for yourself and for others who love you!
We've got this! ❤️💛💚