Focus on what you can you control right now

Andrea Morley

Anyone else feeling a little out of control during the Covid-19 pandemic? We are living in strange times, and it’s gotten us out of our routines and into a stressful state.

Drivers heading out onto the road, crossing the border, and having to rely on unpredictable restaurants and washroom facilities are facing unprecedented stressors in their already challenging job.

For staff suddenly working from home, they’re surrounded by kids, laundry, and every distraction imaginable, and are working hard to prove themselves as essential so they aren’t out of work.

Now, instead of allowing yourself to spiral into chaos, allowing the uncontrollable to control you, I want I want to encourage you to create a new normal for yourself right now, focusing on the things you can do, no matter your current situation.

What might that be?

Your mindset

The news and social media are filled with negativity, and while it’s important to stay up to date, we don’t need to be absorbing it every waking hour. Instead of exposing yourself to it all day, allow a quick news update once or twice a day and leave the rest of the day for uplifting music, shows, books, activities, and other content that will keep you feeling positive and hopeful.

Your physical health

Look, you don’t need to be eating 100% clean and working out twice a day if you don’t want to. We’re all struggling in some way right now, and that’s just not realistic. However, that doesn’t mean you can sneak some more veggies into your diet here and there (maybe between the Easter chocolates you already bought) or go for a walk and do some stretching after a long day of sitting in the truck or on the couch. We’re not aiming for perfection, but a little balance will go a long way right now for both your mental and physical health.

Your environment

Whether you’re at home, in the office, or in the truck, try keeping your environment exactly the way you prefer it to be. If you like structure and a clean environment, that’s going to mean tidying up and keeping things organized. If you’re not used to working in silence, some music can keep you uplifted and motivated. As the days get warmer, opening the windows can bring in some much-needed fresh air. These simple adjustments can make a big difference in your mood, especially when you’re spending 40+ hours in your workspace.

Continue to connect with others

You may not be able to be together physically right now, but we are fortunate to have many types of technology that allow us to stay in touch. Call, text, or FaceTime your friends, coworkers, and family daily. Chat about current events if you want to, so that know you aren’t facing this alone, but also share funny stories and memories to keep each other’s spirits up. Zoom is a great video conferencing software; get a group of family or friends together for a virtual “hang out” to replace your usual gatherings.

Focus on the good that is coming from your new work situation

Look, this might be easier said than done given our current state. That said, the more we focus on the positives, the easier it is to find a little more joy in our day. This might be the lessened traffic on the roads for drivers, being able to throw a load of laundry in on your lunch break, or having more time to cook for yourself or your family without a long commute. Without focusing on these small things, it is far too easy to slip into a spiral of hopelessness and fear.

Of course, these are in addition to the things we are all supposed to be doing and can stay in control of right now: hand washing and sanitizing, social distancing, an avoiding leaving the house unnecessarily. Please continue to take care of yourself and check on those around you. We hope that all of you and your families are staying safe and well.

If you are having severe feelings of depression or anxiety, please reach out to any of these resources for help:

Mental Health Crisis Line 24/7 (Bilingual) – 613-722-6914 | Outside Ottawa: 1-866-966-0991

CMHA Crisis Line: 1-833-456-4566

Ontario Online & Text Crisis Services (English) – Chat 2:00 pm to 2:00 am | Text 2:00 pm to 2:00 am to #258258

If you (or your child) are experiencing thoughts of suicide or harming yourself, please call 9-1-1.

Andrea Morley

Andrea Morley is the lead nutritionist and health coach at Healthy Trucker (a division of NAL Insurance), where she educates and motivates drivers and office staff across the industry to improve their health through simple, consistent changes in their diet and exercise routines. She has a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition from the University of Guelph, and is passionate about wellness and helping others reach their goals. She can be contacted at amorley@healthytrucker.com

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  • Well said Andrea! We are trying to stick to a routine around here. Getting up and taking the dogs for a walk (keeping our distance) and then grabbing a shower first thing seems to be helping keep things a bit more normal around here. Last week, many of us were all glued to the TV. Now, we are just catching the news at dinner time to stay informed. It’s been a huge help for our mindset.