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  • Writer's pictureDena Lampert

Our Emotional Survival Of The Tripledemic

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

The tripledemic. You’ve heard about it on the news, on social media, and conversation with friends and family, but what is it? The tripledemic is a term used to describe a collision of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), flu, and COVID-19 this winter. And while it might seem like we’re re-living the last 3 years, it’s important to take a step back and assess the situation for ourselves.


If the past 3 years have taught us anything, it’s that we can’t hide from a virus or any other type of common illness. So instead of trying to hide from this year's tripledemic and sacrificing plans with loved ones this holiday season, it’s important to continue life as normal while making sensible decisions for your health, but not going to extremes.


Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2019, we have developed a significantly heightened awareness of illnesses. I don’t know about you, but to me, if there was an outbreak of flu or the common cold in pre-pandemic times, it didn’t feel like it was going to inform all our decisions for the next few months. Common illnesses have always existed and are always more prevalent during the colder months of the year, and while they are different in this post-pandemic world, we shouldn’t need to change our way of life to accommodate them.


Unfortunately, viruses and other illnesses are a normal part of life so it’s important to have the tools to deal with them both physically and mentally. So this holiday, continue making smart decisions for your health without going to the extreme. See friends and family, celebrate the season and live your life one day at a time. If someone is unwell then maybe don’t give them a hug, but it’s important to continue to make plans that you feel are reasonable and that you are comfortable with, without trying to hide from a virus that might not go away. And if you get sick, that’s ok. Stay at home and rest and you will recover.


But if you’re feeling anxious about the thought of this tripledemic during the holiday season, then here are some tips to reduce your stress and increase your calm.


Accept the situation


Viruses and illness have always been and continue to be a part of life and unfortunately, nothing will change that. By accepting the situation, you allow yourself the space to get more comfortable with the fact that you might get sick, and if you do, that’s ok. You will recover. It’s totally normal to get sick a few times each year and it’s important to accept the situation for what it is and not let that fear take over your life.

Accept your feelings


It’s also completely ok to feel anxious and worried about this tripledemic. The increased reporting on illnesses in the news and the media is inevitably going to make us feel stressed and anxious about these situations, so accept that you are feeling this way and that your feelings are valid.


Reasonably increase your sense of safety


If you still want to spend this holiday season with friends and family but are feeling anxious about getting sick, then try implementing some small strategies to increase your sense of safety. This could be washing your hands more regularly, not hugging someone if they are sick, or not sharing cups or cutlery with others. There are small strategies that you can implement to allow yourself to feel safer while still enjoying the season with loved ones.


Stay connected


It’s important to stay connected to friends and family, even if you are feeling anxious about getting unwell. And if you’re planning to spend time with others this holiday season, try sharing with them that you are feeling anxious and seek their support. Let them know how you are feeling and see if there are things that they could do to make you feel more comfortable. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be adaptable.


Take a break


If you’ve noticed that watching/reading the news and scrolling on social media are increasing your anxiety around getting ill this winter, then try taking a break from it or reducing the amount of time that you are consuming media. Of course, it’s important to stay up to date on what’s happening, but try to check a couple of times a week instead of a couple of times per day. Similarly, if you’re feeling anxious this holiday then it’s ok to say no to some activities and take time for yourself. Of course, it’s important to spend quality time with people during this time of year, it’s also important to take time for yourself so you can feel your best.


We hope that you have a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones this year while keeping healthy and happy. And if you are in need of some support to help manage health-related anxiety and stress, don’t hesitate to reach out. Happy holidays!


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