The recent outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a significant impact on many areas of our lives, including work, school, and the way we interact within our communities. With so much uncertainty surrounding this disease, it can be overwhelming and cause strong emotional responses in individuals, including fear and anxiety. Because of this, it is important to take a proactive approach to managing our mental health and cope with stress effectively.
Below are a few tips on how to support yourself and others during this time:
• Take breaks from the news: While it is important to stay updated on how the coronavirus is impacting our lives, hearing about the pandemic constantly can be upsetting. Take breaks from watching, reading, and listening to news stories, as well as social media.
• Take care of your body: Looking after one’s physical health will have a positive impact on mental health as well. Even though many gyms are closed, try to still get regular exercise with home workouts such as yoga. Healthy eating, proper sleep hygiene, and avoiding alcohol and drugs will also have a positive impact on mental health.
• Connect with others: Physical distancing is a practice that can help stop the spread of infections by reducing the rate of contact with other people. While physical distancing is important, we still need social connection, so can utilize other means to maintain contact with those we care about, including phone, text, or video call.
• Seek extra help or support: It’s okay to not feel okay, and if your anxiety is having an impact on your daily functioning it may be beneficial to reach out for professional support. Consider tele-health, online support, and virtual counselling resources to offer assistance.
Possible resources are listed below:
o https://www.ementalhealth.ca/ - Resources and information surrounding mental health
o https://www.anxietycanada.com/ - Information and self-management strategies for anxiety
o www.flattenthecurve.com - Information on coronavirus and reducing the impact at home and in your community
o 686868 - Crisis Text Line
o 800-456-4566 - Suicide Prevention and Support Canada