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Dr.’s Tips how to manage Anxiety Surrounding the Uncertainty of Coronavirus

Managing our Anxiety Surrounding the Uncertainty of Coronavirus

Take the   Anxiety Test

It is only 42 questions like….on a 5 pint scale Are you able to relax (not at all or all the time), and No matter what I do, I can’t get my mind off my problems (or replace this with COVID-19)

Or try the Perceived Stress Scale I have a copy of the scale below (source: https://www.midss.org/content/perceived-stress-scale-pss

Dr Gordon says we can only control two things

1) Our Attitude

2) Our Actions

(Below see article or click to watch video clip  of Dr K Gordon, City Line March 18, 2020

If you are in mental health crisis take action and call HERE247 anytime ( 1 844 437 3247 )  or TTY: 1-877-688-5501 https://here247.ca/about-here247/contact-us/

If you need help, but not in crisis:  call CMHA reception at 1-844-CMHA-WW3 (264-2993).

However, if need Emergency Medical Services call 911

1. Attitude:

It’s OK to feel overwhelmed. Here’s what to do next

If you’re feeling anxious or fearful during the coronavirus pandemic, you’re not alone. Offering hope and understanding, author Elizabeth Gilbert reflects on how to stay present, accept grief when it comes and trust in the strength of the human spirit. “Resilience is our shared genetic inheritance,” she says. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and head of curation Helen Walters. Recorded April 2, 2020)

Blanck et al.’s (2018) study is important because it shows that there are positive ways for individuals to deal with their anxiety on their own (e.g., outside of a structured intervention).

Manage your attitude. “Attitude” means your basic view of your relationship with panic and anxiety, your judgment of panic, your belief about how you should act in the face of anxiety.

As we approach any task, our attitudes and beliefs influence the degree to which we are willing to try to solve problems, our determination to persist in the face of obstacles, and the amount of time and energy we devote to the endeavour. (Source: https://www.anxieties.com/48/panic-step3

2. Actions:

We can all benefit from building upon your repertoire of stress-fighting strategies. A good way to start is:

1) De-Crease your stress with Yoga

Reduce stress as well. Yoga, music, meditation, whatever you need to bring down your stress level. That’s going to help your immune system a great deal. (Q11 https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/ctv-news-20-questions-on-covid-19-with-dr-abdu-sharkawy-1.4862744

2) Help others – it’s Contagious

Do something for the greater good. (Jennifer Moss, CBC Happiness and Well-being Columnist  March 26, 2020 ..at 53 minutes – 57   CBC podcast Ontario Morning https://22163.mc.tritondigital.com/CBC_ONTARIO_MORNING_FROM_CBC_RADIO_P/media-session/cc718bfd-b3ce-4b5a-b8bb-f350db1137b5/ontariomorning-mYO81QZT-20200326.mp3

Consider how you can help someone else; while still keeping social distancing:

Helping others will improve your happiness 3.5 times longer than if you did something just for yourself.

  • Call a senior, someone that you know is alone or may be struggling. Be sure to call with a smile on your face since science has shown people can feel your more positive energy even via the phone.
  • Pick up Groceries for others while you are already out going your shopping.
  • Homeless
    – Help our Homeless: On Sun March 22, I forwarded a call for help from one of our areas most compassionate community nurses and by that afternoon  all this showed up and was distributed to our areas homeless that same night. One week later, I am still receiving items–Thank you to all those who have helped. If you have sleeping bags, blankets. pillows, water bottles, or anything that would help. If you are cleaning  your home and have something to give, please contact me

Use technology to help feel less isolated

Live feeds…..some of my musician buddies are doing it.Contact me if you would like to see some live music and unsure how to find it.

Post positive helpful videos.


3) Positive Emotions, Actions and People

Data has shown that when mental health professionals incorporate methods of positive psychology that encourage positive feelings and behavior, it can lead to an increased sense of well-being for certain patients. So how can positive psychology help you? Depression, anxiety, and addictions to alcohol, gambling, drugs, sex and pornography can stem from or contribute to existing feelings of low self-worth or low self-esteem. Studies have found that how you view yourself and feel about yourself can have a big impact on your mental and physical health, as well as how well you relate to others in social interactions and intimate relationships (source: https://novusmindfullife.com/positive-psychology-helps-anxiety-and-depression

Focusing on positive emotions like gratitude. The simple act of making a daily list of three good or positive things that occurred or that you are thankful for can have a powerful impact on your mood and perspective. Over time, the practice can strengthen like a muscle and help to slowly build a more positive outlook on life.

Being positive and looking at the bright side is contagious. So post positive things on your social media feeds.

Surround yourself virtually with positive happy people. It is said if you  have happy friend and neighbour, it  increases your happiness levels. If have happy sibling it  increase your happiness by 14%.

Anxiety is quite contagious; however, you have the power to decrease it.

4) Get your information from trusted, credible sources and use common sense

COVID-19 Reliable Updates 

The Region of Waterloo Public Health has a COVID-19 website https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/health-and-wellness/2019-novel-coronavirus.aspx#

Provincial https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

Federal – Public Health Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html


In addition, only use latest news sources like CBC radio (listen to their house Dr Lin in the Ontario morning show


What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, March 26

Also check out:



CTV News: 20 Questions on COVID-19 with Dr. Abdu Sharkawy



Disinfect with Bleach

The bleach is a simple one because it’s still relatively plentiful and available in most places and the solution that I would recommend is about four teaspoons of bleach in a liter of water, put it into a spray bottle like you might use for a Windex. (Question 16)

5) Limit your time with   COVID-19 updates

Try limit to max 15 minutes per day or less.

Instead use this down time to do some things you never have time to do, like :

A) Connect with those you typically do not have time to safely. My sixteen year old is going old school and hand writing and mailing letters to one of her  schoolmates in Montreal.

B) Spring Clean. Some of my friends and clients are sharing they are spring cleaning. I’m hoping this may hit me too LOL

C) Plant your seeds to get a head start on your veggies or flowers you plant.

D) Cook, Bake and prepare healthy meals and snacks

E) Art or music

There are just so many options

6) Try  new self care techniques

During stressful times, we need more self care tools. Keep trying new and old self care techniques.

A good mental Health resource is




7) Learn something new

Take a class or course in something of interest to you

Coursera has free courses you can take on line https://www.coursera.org/

8) Write down what you’re anxious about

(Below actions #7 on  fromhttps://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prescriptions-life/201201/how-manage-the-anxiety-comes-change

What are you most afraid of? What are all the terrible things that could happen? What’s the worst case? Write them all down. Now look at them, and ask yourself what the probability is that any of this would happen? Would it really be the end of the world?

Chances are none of these bad things will come about, and if you’ve written this in a journal with the day’s date, you’ll look back months or years later and smile thinking how everything turned out just fine. Maybe the results were downright amazing. This is a great reference to have for future anxieties.

Finally, when I’ve made this kind of list I hand it over to God to take care of, and then move on and do whatever I have to do next.

9) Breathe

When we’re scared or stressed we breathe shallowly. If you feel nervous take  5 (Breath in for 5, breath out for 5. You’ll feel much calmer and also have more mental clarity that will help you with problem-solving and planning.

10) Yoga

The combination of mindfulness, breathing and stretching calm the nervous system and help you relax. It also gets you out of your worried monkey mind and into your body, which can be a great relief.

Relax, and rejuvenate with gentle trauma informed therapeutic yoga we Jayne form Innovative Wellness

7:45am  yoga every morning  via FaceBook VideoChat

11:30am  Wednesday yoga  via Zoom

10am  Friday Family Fun Yoga  via Zoom

To join these classes connect with me, Jayne Hembruff,  via FaceBook messenger 24 hours in advance. This will allow me to add you to the group.We also  offer video classes via FaceTime, Zoom, Google Chat. If you do not have video capabilities, we can also offer audio classes over the phone. Choose what style of class you would like.

11) Exercise regularly

Do some form of exercise every day. Walks are really great for calming an anxious mind and blowing off steam. If I’m feeling really wired, I’ll turn it into a run and sometimes even talk or shout out loud about my worries or frustrations as I pound my feet across the ground. (luckily, I have a place I can go where there usually aren’t too many people around to witness this spectacle) Don’t exercise too close to bedtime, though, as this can make it hard to sleep if you’re already tense.

6:30pm  Ballet with Leela Monday & Friday via FaceBook VideoChat

To join these classes connect with me, Jayne Hembruff,  via FaceBook messenger 24 hours in advance. This will allow me to add you to the group.

Research has indicated that physical activity is linked to reduced anxiety symptomatology, as well as improved cognitive functioning, life satisfaction, and psychological well-being (Carek, Laibstain, & Carek, 2011)..source https://positivepsychology.com/anxiety-therapy-techniques-worksheets/

A comprehensive review also has indicated that exercise is beneficial for anxiety disorders, including OCD, GAD, and SAD (Baldwin, Anderson, & Nutt et al., 2014).

In addition, exercise has been associated with reduced anxiety symptoms among sedentary patients with medical conditions (Baldwin et al., 2014).

Exercise is especially attractive because it’s cost-effective and may be performed in a variety of ways (e.g., walking, biking, swimming, running, hiking, etc.). While exercise may not reap the same benefits for anxiety patients as compared to CBT or other psychological approaches, it may enhance the impact of such treatment.

12) Seek out positive memories

A great tool is to go back in your mind to times when you felt seriously anxious about a new element of your life. How did things turn out? Chances are everything was just fine, and it’s really useful to remind yourself of this.

Make a happy wall of all your happy memories – when my children were little we had a wall with all the art and certificates they were proud of as well as our family vision board (one bristol board with pictures of all the things we desired int he future). Or if you are more tech savy, make a college or slide show of these hapy positive memories and future vision.

13) Hire a coach or counsellor to help you through

When you’re worried about steps you’re taking forward and the related anxiety, it’s helpful to have an expert sounding board. It’s one of my greatest joys to tell clients that their worries are totally normal and that I have had similar experiences – I love hearing and feeling their relief pouring down the phone line.

Here in KW

If you are in mental health crisis call HERE247 anytime ( 1 844 437 3247 )  or TTY: 1-877-688-5501 https://here247.ca/about-here247/contact-us/

If you need help, but not in crisis:  call CMHA reception at 1-844-CMHA-WW3 (264-2993).

However, if need Emergency Medical Services call 911

In addition, you can call:

14) Worksheets  that may be helpful to reduce anxiety

source https://positivepsychology.com/anxiety-therapy-techniques-worksheets/

There are numerous worksheets available online that may be useful for reducing anxiety. Here are several examples:

  1. The Anxiety Workbook: A 7-Week Plan to Overcome Anxiety, Stop Worrying, and End Panic (Cuncic, 2017)
  2. Jane’s Worry Elephant: A Self-help Guide for Kids with Anxiety (Miller, 2019)
  3. The Worry Workbook for Kids: Helping Children to Overcome Anxiety and the Fear of Uncertainty (An Instant Help Book for Parents & Kids; Khanna & Ledley, 2018)
  4. Conquer Anxiety Workbook for Teens: Find Peace from Worry, Panic, Fear, and Phobias (Chansard, 2019)
  5. The 5-Minute Anxiety Relief Journal: A Creative Way to Stop Freaking Out (Peterson, 2019)
  6. The Anxiety and Worry Workbook: The Cognitive Behavioral Solution (Clark & Beck, 2011)
  7. The Generalized Anxiety Disorder Workbook: A Comprehensive CBT Guide for Coping with Uncertainty, Worry, and Fear (Robichaud & Dugas, 2015)
  8. The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook (Bourne, 2015)
  9. Let That Sh*t Go: A Journal for Leaving Your Bullsh*t Behind and Creating a Happy Life (Sweeney, 2018)


Dr. Karyn Gordon shares her tips to stay clearheaded during times of uncertainty

During this time is a great example of how to manage anxiety in a situation that’s really uncertain. The number one thing I want people to focus on is that panic and anxiety are an emotion, we cannot control emotions. So, the more we focus on these anxieties the more it expands. It is good to acknowledged the feeling but don’t stay there because the more you stay there it actually makes it worse. You can acknowledge the fear and anxiety, but then lets shift our focus to the two things we can control.


We can control 1) attitude and 2) actions, and this is where we put our focus. We accept what we can not control which is the fact that it’s here and focus on what we can control. When we focus on those two things then thats when we all of a sudden get more calm.

The Unknown Defined

Quarantine is a separation and restricting the movement of people who are exposed to any kind of contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Social Distancing remaining out of places where people meet or gather on mass. Remaining a distance of 6 feet to two meters from others.


In situations like these the kids will mirror the emotion of their parents. If parents are panicking, kids will be panicking. If parents focus on their attitude and actions because those are the two things that we can control the kids will be okay. Plans reduce anxiety and the more that we can do as parents the kids will sense it.

Click to Watch video clip of Dr K

If above link does not work, try https://www.cityline.tv/2020/03/18/anxiety-fear-surrounding-coronavirus/

Innovative Wellness Virtual Classes

During this unprecedented time of social distancing and isolation, all we can control is our attitude and actions.

De-stress, stretch, strengthen and have some fun with us.

Since 2006, I have taught yoga full time and specialize working with people of all ages who are struggling with their  mental and physical wellness. 

Since March 16, we have been delivering  private classes  via phone, FaceTime, Zoom, GoogleChat, FaceBook VideoChat. 

To set up a virtual class just Contact Us

Request the style of class that suits your needs the best:

  •  Chair Yoga
  • Back Care Basics
  • Ballet Class with Leela who is home from professional Ballet School
  • De-Stress
  • Family Yoga – have some fun with your kids
  • Foot Care and Foot Strengthening
  • Relax, Rejuvenate & Restore
  • Stiff Bodies
  • Therapeutic
  • Yogilates
  • Yoga & Cardio Blast
  • YogaSculpt

In addition,  i have posted some yoga videos on FaceBook in a group called Innovative Wellness Yoga Live Stream. http://Innovative Wellness Yoga Live Stream

Our Current Virtual  Classes:

7:45am  yoga weekdays

Tuesdays 10:30am

Wednesday 11:30am

Friday 10am Family Fun  

Relax & Rejuvenate with a gentle therapeutic yoga

6:30pm  Ballet with Leela Monday & Friday

To join these classes connect with me (Jayne Hembruff) via FaceBook messenger 24 hours ahead, this will allow me to add you to the group 

Please keep checking this website for Schedule Updates

Any questions  Contact Us

Perceived Stress Scale – PSS-14


The questions in this scale ask you about your feelings and thoughts during the last month.   In each case, you will be asked to indicate your response by placing an “X” over the circle representing HOW OFTEN you felt or thought a certain way. Although some of the questions are similar, there are differences between them and you should treat each one as a separate question. The best approach is to answer fairly quickly. That is, don’t try to count up the number of times you felt a particular way, but rather indicate the alternative that seems like a reasonable estimate.

Scale: 0 = Never; 1 = Almost Never; 2 = Sometimes; 3 = Fairly often; 4 = Very often

  1. In the last month, how often have you been upset because of something that happened unexpectedly?
  2. In the last month, how often have you felt that you were unable to control the important things in your life?
  3. In the last month, how often have you felt nervous and “stressed”?
  4. In the last month, how often have you dealt successfully with day to day problems and annoyances?
  5. In the last month, how often have you felt that you were effectively coping with important changes that were occurring in your life?
  6. In the last month, how often have you felt confident about your ability to handle your personal problems?
  7. In the last month, how often have you felt that things were going your way?
  8. In the last month, how often have you found that you could not cope with all the things that you had to do?
  9. In the last month, how often have you been able to control irritations in your life?
  10. In the last month, how often have you felt that you were on top of things?
  11. In the last month, how often have you been angered because of things that happened that were outside of your control?
  12. In the last month, how often have you found yourself thinking about things that you have to accomplish?
  13. In the last month, how often have you been able to control the way you spend your time?
  14. In the last month, how often have you felt difficulties were piling up so high that you could not overcome them?PSS ScoringPSS-10 scores are obtained by reversing the scores on the four positive items, e.g., 0=4, 1=3, 2=2, etc. and then summing across all 10 items.  Items 4,5, 7, and  8 are the positively stated items.PSS-4 scores are obtained by reverse coding items # 2 and 3.PSS-14 scores are obtained by reversing the scores on the seven positive items, e.g., 0=4, 1=3, 2=2, etc., and then summing across all 14 items. Items 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 13 are the positively stated items.

    Purpose: To assess the degree to which people perceive their lives as stressful. High levels of stress are associated with poor self-reported health, elevated blood pressure, depression, and susceptibility to infection.

    Primary Reference:

    Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 385-396.

    Any questions  Contact Us