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Avoiding the cycle of anxiety

Tara St. Jacques, child and youth worker with the Child and Youth Mental Health Program at McMaster Children’s Hospital

Today I want to talk to you about behavioural activation.

Is anyone struggling with behaviour activation? I know I am. Everything’s out of sorts because of COVID-19.

We need some strategies and I’m here to help you out.

Strategies to avoid feeling overwhelmed

Maybe you’ve been feeling a little bit like I have: anxious, worried, overwhelmed.

And sometimes when we’re struggling with these emotions, they get the best of us and it becomes a bit of a cycle.

So, one way to look at it is, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, you might start avoiding things like friends, responsibilities and school.

Taking back control

It sort of becomes like a cycle. So, what can you do to take control back?

We can’t control what’s happening today, but you know what we can control? We can control what we do and what we choose to do.

So, I don’t know about you, but this is a helpful strategy for me and I want to share it with you.

Benefits of a routine

So, when I get up in the morning, I like to have a bit of a routine.

And it’s really hard for me when I’m struggling to deal with all these emotions, but I still challenge myself every day. I put a routine into place.

I look at something that I’m feeling grateful for. It helps me really connect to my emotions.

Secondly, I get my shower, I take my meds, and I try to avoid the news – things that pull me back into that cycle – but, I get motivated. I make plans with friends to meet up later on in the night so I can kind of keep a routine.

Eat well, turn off your phone

I eat healthy choices, as much as possible – I do cheat every now and then.

And then I turn off my phone at a certain time at night so that I can let my brain rest.

These are ways to kind of settle yourself down, ground yourself.

And remember, we’re here for you.