Updated: May 11, 2020
By Natalie Decker, Decker Consulting
There are many reasons why we may need to push pause, but no matter what that cause is, the underlying premise is to provide relief. Today we are all experiencing an unprecedented set of global circumstances related to COVID-19 that have automatically pushed pause for many of our daily routines, whether for home or work. All the rules and evolving criteria for protecting our physical health may also be impacting our mental health. Social distancing, careful handwashing, and self-isolation have become everyday phrases, and the uncertainty can be overwhelming.
However, we can use this downtime to rethink, recharge, and refresh. You may ask how that is even possible when so much seems topsy-turvy and unsettled. Well, first of all, pause and acknowledge your emotions. Are you feeling nervous, angry, low, lonely, or overwhelmed? Know that it is okay to not be okay. Then think about what factors are underlying those emotions . . . why you are feeling that way.
Next, determine if it is something that you can change. There are elements that we cannot control; however, there are many that we can. If you can make an appropriate change, great! If you can’t alter the cause, then you might be wondering what the point of this is. Well, when we can’t change the circumstances, we still control how we react to them! No matter the sentiment we are experiencing, if we pause and focus on our breathing, it will help. So pause and follow these steps:
1) Find a comfortable spot to sit.
2) Tune out and turn off technology.
3) Close your eyes.
4) Place both hands on your belly.
5) Take a slow, deep breath, to the count of five, in through your nose; then exhale through your mouth to the count of five. Your hands should rise and fall with each breath.
6) Pay attention to your body, and note how it is releasing tension.
7) Repeat the deep breaths until you feel relaxed.
Another important pause is making time for connection. Even though we may not be able to physically meet with our support systems, they are still there for us. Have regular phone calls with your family, FaceTime with your special someone, text your friends, and keep in touch with colleagues. Even waving to neighbours through your window can reciprocate warmth with a smile. That’s how we can stay together when we are apart.
Some other helpful support resources include the website BridgethegApp.ca, the Warm Line (1-855-753-2560), and the Mental Heath Crisis Line (1-888-737-4688).
We each have a pause button. Whenever you find yourself feeling out of sorts, take a moment to push yours! Pause to find positivity!
By Natalie Decker, Decker Consulting
Occupational Health, Safety and Wellness
Natalie Decker is the business owner of Decker Consulting-Occupational Health, Safety & Wellness. Natalie holds a nationally recognized OHS designation as a Certified Occupational Health Nurse (COHN) as well as an OHS certification from the College of the North Atlantic. Her value for effectively meeting organizational needs is further enhanced with her business background through a Masters in Employment Relations (MER).
With 24 years of diverse experience and expertise, Natalie can provide leadership and comprehensive services that focus on Risk Mitigation processes, Health Promotion presentations, Bio-screening clinics, Medical Surveillance, Injury and Illness Management, Mental Health First Aid, and Disability Management. Natalie’s professional work ethic and competencies have proven to be an asset to employers, as she tailors programs to corporate goals and objectives to provide a higher level of wellness among the working population.
Outside of work, Natalie has a passion for gardening, enjoys travelling and loves planning leisure time activities with her family and friends.