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Empowering Yourself During COVID-19

Empowering Yourself During COVID-19

If COVID-19 has you in a place of fear, just know that you are not alone. In fact, many of us are feeling the exact same way. However, it is also important to recognize that a place of fear may not be the best place for you right now. In today’s blog, we will go over different methods you can use to empower yourself and move out of a place of fear.

Before we go into this information, we wanted to let you know that the BC Ministry of Health has developed an online assessment tool that will tell you what you need to do based on your symptoms. You can check out the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool here.

In order to move out of a place of fear, it is first important to ask ourselves “Who do I want to be during COVID-19?” and realize that there are three zones that we may find ourselves in: the Fear Zone, the Learning Zone and the Growth Zone. For more information, check out the image below:

In the above image, you may notice that each zone has its own unique qualities. Please see below for the qualities associated with each zone:

  • Fear Zone
    • I grab food, toilet paper and medications that I don’t need
    • I spread emotions related to fear and anger
    • I complain frequently
    • I forward all messages I receive
    • I get mad easily
  • Learning Zone
    • I start to give up what I can’t control
    • I stop compulsively consuming what hurts me, from food to news
    • I identify my emotions
    • I become aware of the situation and think how to act
    • I evaluate information before spreading something false
  • Growth Zone
    • I think of others and see how to help them
    • I make my talents available to those who need them
    • I live in the present and focus on the future
    • I am empathetic with myself and others
    • I thank and appreciate others
    • I keep a happy emotional state and spread hope
    • I look for a way to adapt to new changes
    • I practice quietude, patience, relationships and creativity

It is important to note that these zones are not static, and that people can move between zones and can even exist in different zones at the same time. For example, someone might be thanking and appreciating others who are working essential service jobs and helping to keep all of us safe and healthy and be part of the Growth Zone, but they may also be feeling frustration over physical distancing and getting mad easily and be part of the Fear Zone.

Something that is also important to remember that it is not a bad thing if you are in Fear Zone because what is important is realizing you are in the Fear Zone and finding ways to empower yourself to move out of that zone. Please see below for some ideas we have for you:

  • Practice Self-Care
    • If we are already depleted by physical/mental exhaustion, we are less able to handle the stresses that come our way, which is where self-care comes in handy
    • Carve out some “me time” where you can do an activity you enjoy, even if it is just once a week
    • You can try things like journaling, gardening, art, dancing, etc.
  • Practice Mindfulness
    • When you are feeling overwhelmed, it can be helpful to practice mindfulness
    • Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment
    • Immersing yourself in your senses and focusing on what you can feel, smell, touch, hear and see around you helps you to remain present
  • Practice Relaxation Techniques
    • If you are feeling overwhelmed, you can try calming your body and mind by practicing relaxation techniques
    • Some ideas at your disposal can involve participating in things like deep breathing, yoga, tai chi, meditation, guided imagery or music/art therapy
    • Relaxation techniques can aid in positive thinking, concentration, memory and decision making and having a calmer and clearer mind
  • Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
    • Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for your body and mind
    • Avoiding junk food and eating a balanced diet with healthy, whole foods fuels not only your body but also your mind with what it needs to thrive
    • Diet is a major contributor to both physical and mental health and may even play a role in seizure control
  • Get Enough Sleep
    • Getting enough sleep is important for your body and mind
    • Sleep also plays a role in seizure control as lack of sleep is one of the main triggers for seizures
    • Even when you are feeling overwhelmed, try sticking to a regular sleep routine and getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night
  • Exercise Regularly
    • Exercise is important for both physical health and mental well-being
    • Exercise energizes you, pumps your body full of endorphins that make you feel good and may even play a role in seizure control
    • Try to get some exercise, even if it is going on a daily walk
  • Get Outdoors If You Can
    • Get outdoors if you can as fresh air and spending time in nature is important for your body and mind
    • Be sure to practice physical distancing when outdoors by keeping at least 2 meters (6 feet) away from others
    • Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after any time spent outdoors
  • Join a Support Group
    • Support groups help people move past their fear by allowing them to talk to others about how they are feeling and getting advice from others
    • You can check out the BC Epilepsy Society’s support groups that are hosted every week through Zoom
    • Find out more about our support groups here

We hope that this information and our tips help you empower yourself and move out of the Fear Zone and into the Learning Zone and even the Growth Zone during COVID-19. For more information on COVID-19, check out our blog post on the subject here. Up-to-date information can be found from the Government of Canada here.

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