The COVID-19 pandemic has touched everyone. We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. At SullivanLaw, we are keenly aware of how much this situation is impacting our clients and community. Your legal circumstances and your mental and physical health are important to us.

Here are some tips to help alleviate stress.

Managing Information

Consider limiting your exposure to social media regarding the discussion and arguments around the COVID-19 pandemic. Set a time limit for yourself. Perhaps 30 minutes 2 or 3 times a day is enough to stay updated but not to be overexposed to the media. Allow time to pass between your COVID-19 news-gathering and bedtime. Consider using an App to limit yourself. 

Reaching Out to Friends and Family

Social distancing does not mean ignoring your friends and family. Plan time to virtually reach out to others during the day. Social contact will be helpful to you and to the person you’re contacting. Who knows? You can get a good idea for something to do to pass the time, keep your children busy and engaged, and it will help pass the time. FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, and texting are excellent ways to stay in touch.

There are also board game applications available for a virtual game night with friends. Play cards here with friends and family with a video capability.

Music Soothes

The CBC is playing Canadian music only and has a dedicated music channel. In Ottawa it is 103.1 FM (CBC Music, formerly CBC Radio Two). Spotify and Google Play are music streaming apps which have playlists of all sorts and it allows you to design your own playlists. Spotify has a free week-long trial period from the Google Play Store with a month-long free trial after that.  Google Play has a free month-long trial period. YouTube Music also offers free videos.

Developing a Routine

You may already have developed a routine. Is it the healthiest? A regular bedtime routine and wake up time is a good way to start and end your day. Schedule time for exercise and regular meals. Maintain regular hygiene routines with bathing, shaving, and getting dressed in comfortable clothes. Adding a splash of colour to your wardrobe may positively impact your mood.

Set realistic goals and be ready to revisit them in order to accommodate the unforeseen.

Manage Your Expectations

Your changed routine (more meal preparation, working from home) itself may bring upon a stress reaction. Added to that the news of the world, concern for friends and family and you have stress. In times of stress, you may be more irritable and become frustrated at tasks or people you had not been frustrated with before. This leads to increased conflict. To avoid conflict, recognize that your reaction may be stress-related and consider having your own place, and a space for others, to retreat to. Don’t expect that you can manage the children at home, prepare several meals a day, address household tasks and remain as productive as you would be working at the office. Cut yourself some slack but cut others slack as well. Be understanding and forgiving of those around you.

Getting Around to your To Do List without Pressure

Self-isolation and social distancing IS NOT A HOLIDAY. You should not feel pressure “to get things done”, master a new talent or learn a new language. We have stresses that might encumber “personal development”. At-home children, preparing 3 meals a day for your family, negotiating the aisles at the grocery store, work-from-home pressure and tech challenges … there are a lot of pressures we have: because we are not on holiday.

However, getting around to tasks left for some other day might help keep your mind busy and alleviate some worry. Tidy the mud room or de-clutter the storage closet might be a start. Clean out your email in-box. Get a screwdriver to tighten the hardware on cabinetry. There are a lot of small tasks to consider which take little planning and no cost.

One thing to consider. Are you up-to-date with your Will and Powers of Attorney? SullivanLaw offers simple Will and Powers of Attorney packages for individuals and couples. Email for more information.