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By Anna Silverman

Getting Through Lockdown #2

Ways to cope as the Vancouver/Fraser Valley area enters it’s second lockdown

Getting Through Lockdown #2
With BC’s newest Provincial Health Orders, the Vancouver/Fraser Valley area is undergoing it’s 2nd lockdown. Anna, one of our clinical counsellors at Peak Resilience, collaborated with a student to list a few ways we can approach and get through lockdown #2:
When I joined Peak last January, one of the first people I worked with was an international student in her second year here in Coast Salish territory; these are our recommendations on how to deal with lockdown #2, especially if you deal with depression and fatigue. We created this post to share what we have noticed in this latest phase, and what we have found helpful in working with these challenges.

  1. Keep your support sessions. Whether you go to therapy or have just one friend who gets you, stay in touch and name what the f--- is happening to you right now. What are you feeling? What is changing in your day-to-day? What are your complaints, losses, pains and unanswerable questions? We’ve been here for months but we’re still hurting; never forget that “that which is not expressed is depressed.” Just the act of saying something out loud can release it from our body.

  2. Have easy fun. Whatever is easy for fun, do that. My client has reinvigorated her Zoom tolerance and is doing group chats with friends. I am amazed she and I can keep with video after all these months; and what a positive to be able to socialize safely in our respective groups.

  3. Plants. Our floral relatives are here for us, to brighten our eyes and offer soft touch. Whether you have plants to tend indoors, or enjoy your outdoor buddies- pets and people are not the only way to connect with our greater community of beings. Have you hugged a tree this year?

  4. Daily walks for sleep. Walking is not only a pastime for plant-gazing, basking in daylight and seeing other humans, it can tire you out enough to sleep. This may also help those of us who have trouble putting down the blue-light tech in our lives before bed: phone, tables and laptops. By giving ourselves gentle exercise and putting away devices before bed, sleep may come more easily. Please note you may want to do this with your bubble-buddy, for safety.

  5. Baking. Hey at least it’s a hobby! My client is talented af and bakes various fancy things, I am back on sourdough crackers and loaves. How and when did so many of us stop having hobbies? I digress, baking can be a really rewarding one and your roommates will adore you. Ask me for sourdough starter, I have lots.

  6. Reading in your mother tongue. Putting aside mandatory reading for work or school and picking up pleasure reading is sooo good! Reading in your own language is a way to enjoy that experience even more, and to nourish the core of your existence. What could be better?

  7. Determine your healthy amount of alcohol and substances. If you too have noticed that your substance use has been going up and down since March; us too. This is a shared experience. A good question we can ask ourselves is: what’s healthy use and what’s problem-use?

    Options to quickly self-assess problem-use include noting any negative outcomes such as worsening mental/physical/emotional/spiritual health, not completing important tasks, exposure to dangerous situations, and an inability to either stop or continue using at the same amount. Balancing your answers with what is going on for you right now will help you to make your own decision about what’s healthy or harmful for you.

    Consult your counsellor or health care provider, for formal assessment and support. At Peak we practice harm reduction in all aspects of therapy- contact us for non-judgmental support.

  8. Do something for our Elders. As we all know our elders are having particularly poignant COVID experiences. My client has a volunteer job familiarizing seniors with tech, which she has to pause for Lockdown #2. If you want to stay connected and provide much-needed support, govolunteer.ca has virtual volunteering opportunities with seniors. Click here to see their web portal.

We know that we are each having unique experiences, so we hope our collab on what’s working for us has supported you in some way. When we can notice the moments that feel more okay, more normal or more grounded, that’s how we identify our best medicines; great encouragement to you to continue the little things that work for you!