In a very short period of time, we’ve all had to make some very sudden (and some very drastic) changes to our daily lives as a result of COVID-19, which has caused a disruption to our usual routines – not just for us as British Columbians, but for all Canadians and individuals worldwide. Life, as we know it, is much different now compared to what it used to be just a few short months ago, and these changes can be quite a shock to the system and difficult for some to adapt to. While we’re all essentially in the same boat, so to speak, it can even be downright anxiety inducing.
For example, some individuals have had to make changes to their home lives. If younger children are in the picture, then due to school closures you would’ve likely had to scramble to find alternative (and safe) arrangements for babysitting/daycare (particularly if you’re considered an essential worker and cannot stay home); while several K to 12 schools also turned to online classes, which was not only a new way of learning for our children, but for parents as well. Younger children, and even children slightly older, may not have the attention span or the want to sit in front of a computer learning all day long – especially being at home. Distractions are all around, such as TV and video games, which is why it’s crucial that we explain to our children the importance of sticking to the same routine at home as they would if they were in a live classroom, such as waking up on time/getting a good night’s rest, doing homework when it is assigned, etc. Now that the school year has finished, parents and children will be looking ahead to September and the continued changes that are expected to come.
If you’re an employee of a company, then you’re likely having to adapt to major changes as well. While some offices remained open for their staff to work throughout the pandemic (while being closed to walk-in traffic) – other offices gave (and continue to give) their employees the option of working from home. This is particularly recommended for anyone who may be at higher risk of developing the virus, though is suggested to be something that all employers implement for their employees if they are able to do so. There can be challenges with this too, however. You may need to use your own computer, for example, and with that can come some technological challenges in terms of getting any software downloaded that you might need to use, etcetera. Just like school, it’s important that workers also do their best to stick to the same routine they would at home as they do at work. This can make it easier to adapt and be less distracted by things around you at home that may not otherwise distract you if you were at work.
Aside from school and work, we’ve also had to make other drastic changes in our lives due to COVID-19, including the way in which we interact with others. Because COVID-19 is considered highly contagious, strong measures have been put in place to ensure that the spread of the virus is decreased as much as possible. These include orders brought forth by provincial health officers to limit gatherings of no more than 50 people (in British Columbia) – but even then, it can still be difficult to implement physical distancing even with groups of this size. As a result, it is instead recommended that, rather than getting together with people in person, we instead move to having virtual gatherings online by using video chat software, or by significantly limiting our social circles. It can be quite easy for us to fall into what’s known as social isolation and distance ourselves from people as a result, so while we may not be able to have the same face to face/in person interactions that we’re so used to, it’s still important for us to try to stay socially connected in other ways as much as we possibly can.
In unknown times like these, it’s also not uncommon to develop an increase in feelings of anxiety, or even fall into a depression-like state. If you’re struggling with your mental health, then it’s also important that you connect with others for this very reason and reach out to someone you know you can talk to. There are several other free online resources for people who might be struggling, which can be found on the following websites: www.CMHA.ca, www.CrisisServicesCanada.ca, and www.bouncebackbc.ca, just to name a few.