Victoria therapist urges those feeling defeated by continuing COVID-19 measures to reach out

WatchWith word from B.C. health officials that strict social distancing measures will likely last into the summer, a Victoria counsellor is offering coping suggestions for those feeling defeated. April Lawrence reports.

For Langford mother Jennifer Laurendeau and so many others, the past few weeks on virtual lockdown have been a challenge.

“Rough, just kind of rough just being locked inside all the time and trying to keep the kids entertained, you know it’s hard,” said Laurendeau who has three small children.

Then came word on Tuesday that B.C.’s strict distancing measures will likely last until at least June.

“Less and less likely that we’re going to be able to get back to full normal life, which I miss a lot, before at least the summer, and then we need to start preparing ourselves for the potential of a second wave in the fall,” said B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

The sobering news comes just days after word B.C.’s distancing efforts might be finally starting to “flatten the curve”. One Victoria counsellor says it has left people going from feeling optimistic to feeling defeated.

“So I think the big thing that’s hit people the most is that lack of hope, I think,” said therapist Ginger Henderson.

“I really want to speak to those who are having issues with trauma and PTSD because that has usually occurred because of lack of control, here we have another big lack of control we’re experiencing and that’s going to a be a big trigger for people,” she said.

And Henderson says it’s important that people let themselves feel it.

“If you actually hit it head-on, and allow yourself the time for those feelings then you can move onto the next step which is staying in the present moment, focusing on what you can control,” said Henderson.

And while we may not be physically together, Henderson says people should do their best to keep connected through technology, to remember why we’re doing this, and to focus on what we can do today.

She suggests repeating a mantra she uses herself.

“‘In the present moment I’, I finish that sentence with whatever I’m needing at that time, for example in the present moment I feel healthy, in the present moment my lungs feel quite clear,” she said.

And to focus on the positive.

“We’re all in this together, look how much of a difference we’re making with everything closed down,” she said.

They’re all things Jennifer Laurendeau is trying to keep in mind.

“We’re all in this together and stay safe,” she said.

If you are struggling and need help B.C.’s Crisis Line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-784-2433.

Ginger Henderson and some of her colleagues will be offering free counselling services each week. Information can be found by phoning Henderson or visiting her social media pages.

April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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