Second wave: take care of yourself and … others

The few moments of respite granted this summer to the lucky ones among us were far too short between the two waves of this pandemic crisis. As thousands of Quebecers finally managed to get their heads out of the water and gradually regained their breath, this second wave hit the province head-on, bringing back some bad memories.

More tired

Will the second wave be like the first one that took us all by surprise at the start of this pandemic?

This past March, this was a new and unexpected phenomenon. We had to stick together, mobilize, show solidarity, and a few rainbows!

While our stress was great, so was our energy reserve at the start of this crisis.

However, after several weeks of confinement, fatigue accumulated and our energy levels decreased.

Several studies show that this first episode was not without consequences: anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, exhaustion, increased alcohol consumption, increased chronic pain, etc.

The resurgence of this pandemic comes as our knowledge of the virus grows … but so does our fatigue of vigilance and restrictions.

The challenges and particularities of this second wave

In addition to this fatigue, the collateral effects of this pandemic were more than numerous: painful bereavement, financial insecurity, job losses, promiscuity or isolation, not to mention the stress of back to school. Too quickly passed, the summer season did not allow us to fully recharge our batteries after such a trying period.

In this context, even partial “re-containment” necessarily makes us less tolerant, more irritable, and in some cases, aggressive. It’s one thing to be critical of politicians or medical authorities, but on social media we are currently witnessing an avalanche of hateful, violent speech that demonstrates widespread exhaustion. And if we do not pay attention to this distress, its consequences may become even worse.

Take care of yourself … and others

These expressions of anger and impatience should serve as a reminder, and above all, an invitation to take care of ourselves. By taking care of yourself, you will not only contribute to your well-being, you will also be more attentive and listening to others. It will then be easier for you to take care of your loved ones, and especially those who are suffering even more than you in these difficult times.

Taking care of yourself includes staying physically active and moving, especially outdoors, and then relaxing, away from sources of anxiety or catastrophic scenarios. This does not mean to stop learning, but to do it in moderation. We must avoid feeding our anger: to go wild for nothing or to fight against everyone. The current situation is proving difficult enough for everyone. So, why bother each other?

We must never lose sight of the benefits of empathy: understanding the other is also understanding that he or she will not necessarily react the same way as we do to the same event, or the same binding directive.

To change things

Without being able to control everything during this crisis, we must clearly define what we have control over.

First, it is possible to have some control over yourself and take a step back, and often with simple actions: retire to your room, go for a walk, live in the present moment and avoid the anticipation, take the time to breathe, read, spend energy, have a healthy lifestyle, and above all relax.

Then, we can also have control over our actions and ask ourselves, given the context, what concrete actions we can take to promote our well-being, that of those around us, and so that it goes better. .

All this will not make COVID-19 disappear, but will allow us to heal, slowly but surely, these wounds rekindled by the memory of the first confinement.

We have learned a few lessons from this experience, which was long and painful for many of us, but we must never lose sight of the fact that the next one will also come to an end. And it will be less painful to go through if each of us gives way to courage and good humor rather than bad humor.

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