How can you mentally survive through this next stretch (however long it will be)? How are you going to make it through? Whether you agree or disagree with what is and has been going on, it all leads down to this: you need to do what you need to do to mentally survive. This is that hand book you have been waiting for and all of these points have been tested and I think that they work! Let’s review!
Tactic #1: Write Out Your Grievances
Physically write out what you hate about this whole pandemic. Write it out, don’t type it. There is scientific proof suggesting that handwriting engages the brain more than typing. Let me get you started with what I strongly dislike (hate is a strong word and should only be used in absolute circumstances):
covid (I HATE covid). In fact, I don’t just hate the virus, I hate the word. I hate the word so much I’ll go as far as saying I hate some of the letters, notably the “V”. It’s pointy and sharp and edgy. It reminds me of that sci-fi show “V” where aliens were disguised in human skin and plotted to take over the world. They ate live mice. It was gross. You can’t even say the letter “V” without grimacing or smirking. Try it. Look in the mirror while saying the entire alphabet. When you get to “V” your nose scrunches, you upper lip retracts, even your eyes squint a bit. You tend to look a bit angry and disgusted. That’s just how much I hate covid, I hate the letters.
In fact, I despise covid so much that when I type that virus name on my iPhone and the autocorrect capitalizes it, I go OUT OF MY WAY to give it a small “C”. covid does not deserve the respect of being capitalized!
I hate that new terms have been created like social distancing. Think about it: social and distancing. Those two words should not be together. To be social you HAVE to be together with someone. You can’t be distant. It’s an oxymoron and it’s wrong. I don’t ever want to hear that term again when this is done.
Boy this works! I’m starting to feel better!
I strongly dislike having to wear masks everywhere and not see people’s faces and expressions (I have no opinion about masking, I just don’t like not being able to see people’s faces). I strongly dislike not shaking people’s hands. I strongly dislike waiting in lines everywhere. I strongly dislike not being able to get together with families and friends. I strongly dislike people turning on other people. I strongly dislike having to concern myself if there’s going to be toilet paper available at the grocery store. I strongly dislike how every email or chat ends with ‘stay safe’ (and is this #staysafe limited to this pandemic only? Or can it be applied to other things like driving or walking through a haunted house at Halloween?). I strongly dislike not having toys for kids to play with in the clinic. You get the drift of how this works.
It feels good to write these grievances down. You should try it. It’s cathartic, it’s therapeutic, and it’s an important tactic to mentally survive.
Tactic #2: Stay off Social Media
And when I say stay off I mean unfollow groups that perhaps are always posting about covid. Maybe hide friends that also always post about covid. It’s not that you dislike that friend, it’s just that you’re making a conscious effort to minimize stress on yourself and maybe for now it might be a good idea to ‘snooze’ that person! That way you can avoid offending annoying by de-friending them and if they ask you, “hey, didn’t you see my post?” you can say “nah man, sorry, less than 10% of friends actually see all the posts so it didn’t come up in my feed” (this is a researched fact). This is part of keeping the virus from messing with your head and mentally survive.
Tactic #3: Do NOT Engage People on the Internet
This is the best tactic of all I think. DO NOT ENGAGE people on social media or media sites by clicking on posts that spur conversations: no matter what your opinion or view is, someone will have the opposite opinion and they’ll post about it. And DO NOT ENGAGE these people because you won’t change their opinion (and they won’t change yours) and you will be sucked into their black hole of death and despair. It will consume you. It will eat you up. You will lose valuable time in your life and get nowhere. JUST. DON’T. DO. IT. It doesn’t help you mentally survive. You know what will? Snuggling a puppy instead. Now THAT’S something that will make you feel good!
Tactic #4: Stay Away From the News
The moment covid started I stopped watching the news, and this was tough because this is my favorite thing to do. I used to watch news. I used to listen to the news. My wife would get mad at me because every car I drove I’d leave it on news radio (maybe she was onto something?). Everything in the news is death and despair now and that’s not really something you should have on the forefront. Which news headline will grab your attention more? “Vicious Shark Attack Leaves Man With Only One Arm” or “Philanthropist Donates 1 Million Dollars to Children’s Fund”? Which elicits a more memorable response: killer sharks or kind donors? Will the shark attack make you think twice about swimming in the ocean? Maybe. (Your risk of dying from a shark attack is 1 in 3,748,067. That’s a 0.0000027% chance).
Watch the way you process statistics as well. A recent statistic came out that 1 in 50 Albertans have tested positive for covid. That may be kind of scary to some when you think of 50 people around you. 1 in 50 is 2%. But 98% of Albertans have NOT tested positive. This is not meant to downplay covid at all, but when your mind is racing and you’re scared and overwhelmed and you need to calm yourself down, looking at that number differently will help you. Just put it this way: if someone told you that you had a 98% chance of winning the lottery, would you already be planning on how to spend your money?
Tactic #5: Write Someone of Power
As cliché as this may seem, change happens at the lowest level. If there’s something you’re unhappy with or something that you want to see changed, write someone who may be able to do something. If you think your voice won’t be heard because ‘It’s just me, my input won’t make any difference,’ think again. There are others just like you who are writing in as well. Change happens with numbers!
So who do I write?
Tactic #6 (LAST RESORT): Channel Your Inner Teen
Channel your inner teen. Ignore everyone. Keep to yourself. Partake in what interests you. Wear a hoodie. Say “bruh.” Just don’t slouch. Slouching is bad for you.
My final Two Cents
Before you do ANYTHING in your day to day affairs, ask yourself: “is this is going to enrich or hinder my mental health? Will this help me mentally survive?” Do I look at the daily covid numbers? Do I go out in public to a busy store? Do I click on the comments on that post on Facebook to see what people are writing? Evaluate at that moment how this will affect you if you carry out that action.
Soon enough you’ll realize that your mental stress will start to decrease when you apply all of these simple principles.
Please feel free to visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/accesswellness! Drs. Jacqueline Boyd and Paul Bajor are the only husband and wife chiropractic team in Airdrie, Alberta. Their practice, Access Chiropractic and Wellness, is located at #120, 52 Gateway Drive NE in the north of Airdrie. They have been in practice in Airdrie since 2004 and in practice since 2001. They have two kids named Liam and Julia and have one of the largest family practices in Airdrie. They have a vested interest in keeping Airdrie and surrounding communities healthy because Airdrie is also their home.
Drs. Jacqueline Boyd and Paul Bajor are also both registered and active members of the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association).