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A few ways to keep morale up despite the pandemic


Not surprisingly, the first rule is to take care of yourself. To do this, Marc-André Dufour, clinical psychologist, who published the book Give yourself the right to be unhappy in January 2020, reminds the fundamentals: have a healthy lifestyle, pay attention to your diet and sleep, be active, be active.

As we know, stepping outside has its benefits. Even more, when it is to spend time in the middle of nature.

In the fall of 2020, on behalf of the Quebec Society of Outdoor Establishments, a team of researchers from the Montreal Heart Institute led by Dr. Louis Bherer analyzed 126 scientific studies on the positive effects of going out in a park, in a forest, by a lake or others.

The woman seen from behind walks between two rows of conifers.

Getting fresh air in the great outdoors is good for your health, scientific studies prove it.

Photo: iStock / Roman Kozhevnikov

Reduction in heart rate and blood pressure, reduction in stress levels and anxiety are among the results of the researchers’ work.

Habits, precious allies

The general manager of Tel-Aide Québec, Johanne Perreault, advocates another simple path to put in place, namely to stick to a daily routine. No need to set big goals to fill your days.

Small accomplishments can bring great satisfaction and give the impression of regaining control of your life when you are in a context where you lose the power to act.

The head of the listening center also invites those who are currently cloudy in their minds to cultivate their benevolence towards themselves.

It is better to work on letting go in the face of an external situation rather than resisting.

A quote from Johanne Perreault, Executive Director of Tel-Aide Québec

According to Marc-André Dufour, paying attention to yourself also means being attentive to your emotions, facing them and accepting them.

It’s okay to go bad right now. We are going through a historic ordeal. It is important not to be ashamed of going badly. If we’re ashamed, we’re going to want to hide. However, becoming aware of his discomfort is what will make it possible to seek help.

Psychologist Marc-André Dufour wears thick-rimmed dark glasses.

According to psychologist Marc-André Dufour, those who feel dejected at the moment because of the health situation should not feel guilty.

Photo: TurnedNews.com / Vincent Cantin-Archambault

But the clinical psychologist insists above all on the importance of thinking collectively, of listening and being concerned about others because, he emphasizes, when we make someone smile, it makes us feel good. This supposes in its logic to show kindness, gratitude, courtesy.

Ambient weariness

Marc-André Dufour suggests taking news of those close to him, and also of his more distant acquaintances. In return, they will ask you how you are doing and that will create an exchange.

We need links and social cohesion right now.

A quote from Marc-André Dufour, clinical psychologist

Today’s times are trying for a large part of the population. The workers at the Quebec Suicide Prevention Center are aware of this every day.

Bluish image of a depressed young woman

Help and listening services exist to support people who feel overwhelmed by current events.

Photo: iStock

The calls are not particularly more numerous since François Legault has, on two occasions, reinforced measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus, and especially that of its variant Omicron – shortly before Christmas, then shortly before December 31.

At most, these telephone calls are a little longer. The same shared feeling emerges. People are tired, summarizes Lynda Poirier, the director general of the center.

To keep morale up, she and her team have their method: they talk to each other. When things are wrong, and also when things are going!

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