By Frank Donnoli and Josephine Piccolo (our resident TTC Psychologists)
Once again, we are facing the predicament of lockdown. There are many conflicting emotions that are brought to the surface including loneliness, anger, frustration, and fear. And then there is that other real issue; where am I going to get my toilet paper and how much toilet paper is enough?
Last year was an emotional and physical traumatic year. Psychology teaches us that the body keeps score. Our current physiological and psychological reactions are based on our memories of previous experiences. What can we do to change this? Here are some ideas…
- Focus on the here and know the “what is” rather than the “what if”. Be present and notice the things around you. Notice the sights, sounds and smells that bring you joy and comfort. Your dog playing in the back yard. Your cat rubbing up against your leg and mewing for food. The smells of freshly baked sourdough.
- Focus on a task or activity that brings you the sensation of success and mastery. Read a new book. Do a free online short course. Complete a creative activity – colour, paint, garden, knit, weave, draw, sew.
- Random acts of connection, kindness and gratitude. Consider writing an email or a letter to connect or thank someone. If you do not have many close connections, even consider writing to someone (even a professional) that has been helpful to you. Try helping a neighbour in need with groceries or material supports.
- When good moments happen, savour them. Really enjoy laughing at a funny joke or slowly eating a delicious meal.
Even when we experience challenging life events, Positive Psychology has shown that these kinds of strategies can really improve the quality of our lives, and foster happiness.