As provinces across Canada begin easing COVID-19 restrictions, it is normal to have mixed feelings. After living with restrictions for more than two years, it can be unnerving to adjust to life without them It is okay if these changes are leading to feelings of uncertainty, increased stress, as well as anxiety and depression. It is important to remember that you are not alone in these feelings, and it is okay to take the time and space you need to process them.
It is important that as parents, caregivers, and community members, we remember that everyone will adjust at their own pace… Everyone’s mental wellness and comfort level with the lifting of restrictions, such as no longer being required to wear a mask, can impact how one will react and adjust to things like social outings, school, and work. Remembering this can help us to be kind and understanding to others.
Here are a few important things to remember during this transition period:
Let Yourself Feel Your Feelings
As you learn about changes to restrictions in your home province, make sure to pay attention to how these changes make you feel. For example, if the news about mask mandates lifting causes you anxiety, take the time to understand why. Write your feelings down and explore them. Then, take the time to remind yourself that your feelings are valid, and it is okay if you need more time to process these changes.
If you have children in your life, it is important to consider that they may not remember what life was like pre-pandemic and may show increased signs of behavioural challenges and anxiety when expected to go back to school or social outings. During this time, it will be important to help your child explore their feelings as well. To start, sit down and have a conversation with them. This will help you have a better idea of how to support them moving forward.
Set Your Own Personal Boundaries
Setting personal boundaries or boundaries for your family can help you cope with the stress and anxiety around easing restrictions. These boundaries can help you take control over the uncertainty while being sensitive to your feelings. These boundaries can include:
– Continuing to wear your mask in public
– Keeping a small bubble
– Avoiding large crowds
There is no right way to cope with this transition. Take what you need and know that you can go at your own pace when it comes to easing into these changes.
Communicate Your Fears
When you feel ready, it can be helpful to communicate your fears with your loved ones. Talking about your stress and anxiety around your province’s reopening plans can help you process your feelings while also letting your family and friends know that you might need some additional support through this transition.
It is also important to remember that you are not alone in your stress and anxiety! It is likely that others around you are experiencing the same uncertainty, and it can be helpful to work through that those feelings together.
We have all been affected by COVID in some way, and we are all in this transition period together.
Take 10 For You!
One thing we can all do for ourselves, (yes this includes our children and youth) is to take time every day for self-care. ‘Take 10’ daily to do something that you enjoy. Go for a walk, read a book, or listen to your favourite song. This can help you de-stress, relax and feel better prepared for coping with reopening anxiety. You and your family deserve it!
If you are looking for additional support as you cope with the stress and anxiety associated with easing COVID-19 restrictions, know that Strongest Families is here for you. Learn more about our programming and how to enroll by visiting our website.Tags: COVID, COVID-19, Reopening, strongest families, Strongest Families Institute