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Nov. 23, 2020

We’re all dealing with a lot each day – it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Taking stock of what’s making you anxious can help you take control of that anxiety and figure out a plan.

Description: Mary Ann sits on the couch in her bright living room. She speaks to the camera.

Mary Ann Baynton: It's Mary Ann Baynton from Workplace Strategies for Mental Health.

Description: A square appears in frame with Mary Ann’s name and title: “Mary Ann Baynton, Director of Strategy and Collaboration, Workplace Strategies for Mental Health.”

Mary Ann: And today I want to share something with you.

I woke up this morning and felt exhausted. I am not a real emotional person in that I don't cry a lot, but all day I felt like tears behind my eyes. Like I'm just ready to burst into a crying jag. I have this heaviness on my heart and in my throat, I feel shaky and just not myself.

And I'm not worried that this is a heart attack or something more serious because I've had this feeling before.

It is anxiety.

We all have a threshold past which the anxiety can get to us. I've reached mine.

And the reason I want to share this with everyone is because we all have this.

It's part of the human condition, with everything that's going on, I know all the right things to do. I'm trying to share them with you, but truth is I'm not doing them all myself all the time.

So, today I'm going to take some time, go out, walk in the sunshine, be in nature. I'm going to sleep earlier tonight.

I'm going to stop working 24/7. Even though I think that the work that I'm doing is important.

It's not as important as staying well.

So please, like me, or maybe like I wasn't doing, but I'm going to do today, take care and stay safe.

The frame fades to the Canada Life logo with words “Workplace Strategies for Mental Health” beside. A legal line appears: “Canada Life and design are trademarks of The Canada Life Assurance Company. canadalife.com 1-204-946-1190”

Strategies to deal with stressors

Before anxiety even hits, you can do some work to get ahead. The goal isn’t to never feel anxious again – it’s to feel confident that you can deal with whatever life throws at you. 

When it comes to tackling the things causing you stress and anxiety, you’ve got options: 

  • Accept. There are some things you can’t change – like a global pandemic. Accepting what is rather than wishing it wasn’t so can be a relief. 

  • Avoid. Learn your own boundaries and enforce them. Say no to unnecessary stressors. 

  • Alter. Switch up your space or change your routines in ways that reduce stress for you. 

  • Adapt. Change the way you think or reframe problems in a way that helps you solve them. 

It can be tough deciding what might work best in each situation – and what might not work. Workplace Strategies for Mental Health has resources to help. Let’s make a plan for resilienceOpens a new website in a new window to keep you at your best. 

Planning ahead is a good step, but sometimes you need some extra help. You might have access to more mental health resources than you realize. Here are a few places to check:

Wellness Together CanadaOpens a new website in a new window: we’ve partnered with Kids Help Phone to help Canadians of all ages. 

Already have a Canada Life benefits plan? You may have access to additional resources. Sign in to your accountOpens a new website in a new window.