Anxiety isn’t an uncommon feeling. It’s actually the body’s natural reaction to stress. Now, more than ever, many Yukoners find themselves experiencing some form of anxiety due to a variety of situations and events. In the moment, anxiety can take form and feel like a tunnel with no light at the end, a pestering ringing in the back of your mind, a constant foggy state. Unfortunately, anxiety cannot be avoided completely, but with the right tools and the right aids, no one needs to live a life that is destroyed by it, either.
There’s a way to reach out
Anxiety can be debilitating for those who feel it, and there’s no standard script for who is affected by it. The person calling the Reach Out Support Line (ROSL is a free service offered by the Canadian Mental Health Association of the Yukon) might be just as anxious about calling to ask for help as the volunteer picking up the phone is anxious about being able to help. Fortunately, there are small, simple tactics that can reduce anxiety. The answer doesn’t have to be 30 minutes of meditation at the crack of dawn, but rather, taking a moment to breathe and ground yourself. Slow, regular, long breaths can help calm or return you to a calmer state.
Here’s an example of a typical anxiety-related call to ROSL, including some tips for dealing with anxiety:
Volunteer – “Hello, this is the Reach Out Support Line. How are you doing today?”
Caller – “Hi there. Thank you for answering. I honestly don’t know where to start … things were really tough again today.”
Volunteer – “I am sorry to hear that. Would you like to talk through the reasons why it was tough?”
Caller – “Oh, it’s really nothing. Just my new job is amping up and I really want to show that I belong in this office and can offer sufficient results, but I can’t seem to. At least not like at my other office.”
Volunteer – “Why do you believe you may be feeling this way?”
Caller – “I’m really not sure. I’m scared to disappoint maybe?”
Volunteer – “Okay, well what do you feel when you notice yourself getting scared?”
Caller – “I just feel like I weigh a million pounds but at the same time shrink seven sizes smaller. I feel very hot and my mouth turns to cotton. I couldn’t present my results even if I tried”
Volunteer – “It seems as though you may be having some anxiety. Does this seem right to you?”
Caller – “Yes, definitely. Anxious is how I would describe it.”
Volunteer – “That can be very tough. Would you like to run through a grounding tactic with me that you could use the next time you feel yourself getting anxious?”
Caller – “Please.”
Volunteer – “Acknowledge FIVE things you see around you. Acknowledge FOUR things you can touch around you. Acknowledge THREE things you hear. Acknowledge TWO things you can smell. Acknowledge ONE thing you can taste.”
Caller – “Thank you so much. I definitely will be using that”
Volunteer – “I am glad the tactic can be an aid for you. Do you have any more goals for today’s call”?
Caller – “No, but I feel much better about work. Thank you”
To access help through ROSL, call 1-844-533-3030.
Want to help other people by volunteering with ROSL? Call 1-867-336-7576.