5 Ways To Take Back Control Over Your Life During A Global Pandemic

COVID-19 series - post 1

To combat our sense of helplessness in the time being, we have provided 5 tools that anyone can implement to take back control while still adhering to the COVID-19 rules and regulations in place..

With the current global pandemic, many of us can be left feeling as if we lack control in our own lives and over the COVID-19 situation. This is very normal.

Our governments have given us a list of strict guidelines to follow and suddenly we realise how much freedom and control of our own lives we actually had prior to this unfortunate situation. Our daily and weekly routines, since we can remember, have changed dramatically in some instances.

We are working from home or have lost our jobs entirely, kids are completing their schooling from home, supermarkets are low on stock and our go-to coffee shop is closed along with most other services. We may be constrained from seeing our family and friends and some of us are simply self-isolating completely.

But most importantly, many of us have also lost the freedom to utilise our typical self-soothing coping mechanisms at a time when we need them such as going to the gym, watching sporting events or catching up with a friend for brunch. Whatever they may be.

But it is important for each and every one of us to recognise what is still in our own control and take these factors into our own hands – which is more than you may first think.

Our theory director, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Adrian Terminello, shares some valuable insights on why we may be feeling anxious and stressed during this time that we all are facing in 2020 and how we can regain control over these emotions.

Adrian explains "any time we experience feelings of fear in life, it is our brains natural response to keeping us from danger." When our brain perceives a threat, it is important to rationally accept this and respond in a logical and responsible manner to keep us safe, but also not let that fear overwhelm us at the same time.

Thinking sensibly and stopping ourselves from catastrophising the given circumstances will help to manage the situation without making it worse than it needs to be. To which we then actually become quite unhelpful.

During times of anxiety and stress our body can react by releasing stress hormones that trigger the body into its fight or flight responses; a mechanism intended for the survival of mammals in life-threatening situations. But, today sees the body responding in such means to non-life-threatening stressors.

Our parasympathetic nervous system is our body’s tool to slowing this stress response by releasing hormones to relax the mind and body, keeping us calm and able to manage our mood. Calming and pleasing activities and strategies are a way for you to activate your parasympathetic nervous system yourself and take back control over these unhelpful feelings.

During this pandemic, we must respect our feelings but we need to actively work at managing these very normal human responses to the COVID-19 situation and a great way to do this is by talking to someone we trust.