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How to stay sane in uncertain times

Lori Dennis, MA,RP

Lori Dennis, MA,RP

Registered Psychotherapist, Speaker, Author of Lyme Madness

These are times of great uncertainty. Uncharted, unprecedented times that require a sense of calm, creativity and connection.

I wish it weren’t so but the truth is that my family, along with tens of millions worldwide, have been living a similar medical nightmare for years. While chronic Lyme disease and the Coronavirus have many distinctions, the experience is parallel in many ways.

For both, there is an inability to get properly tested, a lack of access to proper care for far too many, frustration with the CDC for their lack of transparency, not enough support or resources to manage this pandemic, no viable treatment or cure, the fear of how this will impact all of us financially.

The Coronavirus, like chronic Lyme, is an experience unlike the world has ever seen and, for the most part, we are being asked to navigate this in the dark.

Here are a few simple suggestions to help you find some light in the dark:

Turn anxiety into action – High anxiety can be paralyzing. While we are certainly entitled to feel a sense of angst, unease, and even gloom and doom, it’s not productive to stay stuck in these feelings. The best way to combat these strong, often destructive emotions is to turn your angst into action.

When I was feeling paralyzed about our chronic Lyme crisis, I resolved my ‘stuckness’ by researching daily, writing a book on the subject, giving talks, blogging and creating an online platform where I could connect with and help others.

How you take action is entirely up to you and your own strengths, needs and preferences. But taking action, without a doubt, is the best way I know to take back your power in a very powerless situation.

Practice self care – When we’re experiencing tough times, we tend to forget about our own personal needs, often putting them on the back burner. This is the time to take walks, go for a run, meditate, journal, eat well, sleep well, create daily rituals that feed your body, mind and soul.

Stay connected – Whether introverted or extraverted, we are all social beings. This time of social distancing requires us to discover more creative ways to stay connected. Staying in touch with family, friends, and colleagues is critical to our health and well-being. Make more time to nurture relationships — even from a distance. Help others when possible. We are all in this collective experience together.

Reframe crisis into opportunity – The Chinese character for crisis is opportunity. Get creative. Think of ways to reframe your struggles – emotional, physical, spiritual, financial — by creating healthy new habits, developing new family rituals, designing new business practices that can benefit you and others.

I’ll be writing more about how to navigate these dark waters in the weeks to come.

Until then, stay well and stay safe. ❤️

LORI DENNIS, MA, Registered Psychotherapist. Author LYME MADNESS, Speaker, Activist, For more information, feel free to message me on LinkedIn, or email me at loridennis@talktherapy.ca