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5 Coping Strategies DURING UNCERTAIN TIMES 

  1. Spending too much time at home, as well as feelings of anxiety, can make our bodies feel tense. Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a technique that teaches you how to relax the muscles in your body, which can lower your overall tension and stress levels. For information on how to do Progressive Muscle Relaxation, visit https://www.anxietycanada.com/sites/default/files/MuscleRelaxation.pdf
  2. Engage in physical activity. Exercise has been shown to improve mental health, self-esteem, and cognitive functioning. Find creative ways to do so! There are many workout videos online that you can do from the comfort of your own home. If you are able to leave your home, practice physical distancing and go for a walk outside. 
  3. Create a Worry Jar. Write down all your worries on little pieces of paper. Take some time to reflect on the worries you have identified. If the worry is out of your control or something you do not have the resources to address at this moment, put it in the Worry Jar. If the worry is in your control, create a plan for how you can address it. Revisit the Worry Jar every few days/weeks to determine if your worries are still applicable, and if you can address them at this moment. Throw out any worries that you no longer have. You may notice worries come and go.
  4. Pandemics such as COVID-19 can disrupt one’s daily routine. Find creative ways to maintain your schedule. If you’re use to going to the gym in the morning, try working out at home at that same time. Maintain your regular wake up and bed times. Maintaining a sense of routine can create a sense of normalcy and consistency during these uncertain times.  
  5. Find opportunities to smile and laugh. Research has shown that the mere act of smiling, even if it is forced, releases chemicals in the brain that are associated with happiness. Smiling can increase mood, lower stress, and boost immune functioning. Try standing in front of the mirror and forcing a smile or laugh for 60 seconds.