If you feel that you are under a tremendous amount of pressure, know that you are not alone.

For many of us, not even a global pandemic could stop us from carrying on with our busy lives. Under ordinary circumstances, it can feel as though there is a spotlight on us to work extra hard or work longer hours at our jobs, keep up with all the latest parenting trends, maintain a certain appearance, all while keeping a smile on our face. Adding to that a health crisis, shift in education, and limiting community safety precautions – maintaining that smile is near impossible. When we continue to perform as if everything is fine when that is not the case, we are doing a disservice to ourselves. Eventually, you may become overwhelmed with stress to the point that you temporarily cannot function regularly.

If this disruption persists, please reach out to your medical doctor, or a professional psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker. Please contact us for assistance with referrals.

Otherwise, this experience is not uncommon. For many, letting go of the build up every once in a while helps relieve the pressure.

Remember: it’s okay to not be okay.

A ‘burnout’ may present itself differently from person to person, whether it be in the form of panic attacks, social withdrawal, or an emotional release. These are symptomatic of an inability to cope with life’s demands. Ultimately, we break because we haven’t flexed. These outbursts are our bodies telling us we need to prioritize and nurture our mental health.

TNDF Helpline Resource Card

Canadian Mental Health Association
(905) 436-8760

Family Services Durham
1-866-840-6697 (press 1 for intake)

Durham Mental Health Services
1-800-742-1890

Watch out for the warning signs:

Shutting down and not participating in normal activities

Difficulty concentrating/forgetfulness and completing simple tasks

Changes in eating and/or sleeping habits

Extreme exhaustion/fatigue

Poor hygiene/decreased self-care

Intense mood swings

Depressive episodes, loss of hope

Feelings of anxiety/paranoia that are new or are increasingly overwhelming

Take these preventative measures:

Cut caffeine, alcohol, and substances that cause stress on the body from your diet

Develop a sleep routine

For example, try: no electronic devices before bed, no food after a certain time, or reading a book.

Exercise regularly

At least 3 times per week.

Take frequent mini-breaks

10 minutes at a time.

Incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily routine

Try: meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.

Take prescription medications to treat symptoms

Consult with your medical professional for anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications.

Make an appointment with your primary health care provider

to rule out any medical problem which may be causing your symptoms.

Ask for help when you need it

Whether it’s tangible needs from family and friends or professional counselling.

Nourish yourself with whole foods

Vegetables, fruits, protein, and grains.
If your access to food has been compromised, contact us. We may be able to help.

If you are going through a breakdown, take these steps:

When you recognize what is happening, acknowledge it: “I am having a breakdown"

If you need to cry/scream/laugh let it all out in a safe space

Take deep breaths

Find something comforting to de-escalate

Don’t engage in anything that will worsen the situation for the next 72 hours

Avoid stressful environments, substances, unhealthy relationships, etc.

Check out of social media and the news

Read a book or take a walk instead.

Make an appointment with your primary health care provider

to rule out any medical problem which may be causing your symptoms.

Ask for help when you need it

Whether it’s tangible needs from family and friends or professional counselling.

Nourish yourself with whole foods

Vegetables, fruits, protein, and grains.
If your access to food has been compromised, contact us. We may be able to help.
If you have reached your breaking point, your body may be trying to tell you that you need to make some changes to your lifestyle.

To move forward, practice the following

Take a moment to write out the things that are causing stress in your life

Sort them into two categories: things you have control over and those that you do not. Create an action plan for what you can change and be mindful of the stressors that may trigger some unwanted feelings and behaviours.

Give yourself permission to say no

Do not feel like you have to over-commit to make everyone happy. This allows you to save your energy and mental capacity for the events you choose to prioritize so you can be fully present.

Understand that you can change your mind

If life takes you in a different direction, even if it wasn’t according to your plan, that’s okay! If a new job, relationship, or change in housing is going to help achieve your goals and improve your well-being, it is worth taking a chance on the unknown.

Do more of what you enjoy

Make the time for it. We have responsibilities but we are meant to enjoy the life we have. Our hobbies bring us to the present and offer a temporary distraction from fearing the future or dwelling on the past.
 

We cannot solve an issue with the same mindset that we had when the problem was created.

A breakdown is not the end. Even the strongest of people have a
breaking point, We all break at some point in our lives.

Yes, we all do.

Remember, it’s not something to be ashamed of, it’s not the mark of your weakness. But in fact, your survival through it is just a proof of your resilience.

Drishti Bablani

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