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Six Ways to Look After Your Mental Health During COVID-19

6 WAYS TO LOOK AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH DURING COVID-19-2

By: Denisa Horak | Mar 17, 2020

With the number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases increasing daily and the issue dominating news headlines, it’s important to look after your mental health. Below are six ways to help maintain a sense of control and ease anxiety to better cope with the Covid-19 threat and the uncertainty it’s creating.

COVID-19 GRAPH

  1. Seek accurate information from legitimate sources

    Where you get your news matters. Limit yourself to reading information from official international sources like the World Health Organization (WHO) and national sources like the Public Health Agency of Canada. Do not trust social media posts without thoroughly investigating the source. Limiting your information updates from credible sources is key to avoiding the fear and panic that misinformation may cause.

  2. Keep your mind and body healthy

    There are some common-sense steps you can take to reduce the risk of COVID-19 such as washing your hands thoroughly, keeping your hands away from your face, disinfecting commonly used surfaces and steering clear of others by following social distancing guidelines. In addition, try to keep yourself in good health so that your immune system functions properly by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, and drinking alcohol in moderation. Our minds and bodies are connected; activities like walking, meditating and exercising can help you relax and control your thoughts and feelings. Here are some on-line ways to help stay healthy:

  3. Set limits around consuming news on COVID-19

    Try to avoid excessive exposure to media coverage. Constant monitoring of news updates and social media feeds can intensify feelings of worry and distress. Consider turning off automatic notifications and limiting yourself to checking the news only once a day. Setting boundaries on how much news you read, watch or listen to will allow you to focus on your life and actions over which you have control. Trust that if there is an important COVID-19 development, you will hear about it quickly enough.

  4. Reach out to others and support people around you

    Although the idea of self-isolation may seem daunting, keep in mind that this is only temporary and that there are still many ways to regularly connect with others digitally. Keeping in touch with friends and family via telephone or online can ease the stress caused by COVID-19. Talking through your concerns and feelings can bring a sense of comfort and stability.

  5. Acknowledge your feelings

    It is normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or upset, among a wide range of other emotional reactions, in the current situation. Allow yourself time to notice and express what you’re feeling. This could be by writing them down in a journal, talking to others, doing something creative or practising meditation.

  6. Seek professional help if you need it
    Follow protection and prevention recommendations provided by qualified health professionals. If that isn’t enough, consider reaching out for help from your doctor or a mental health professional. A licensed professional can help you manage your fears while also empowering you to make the best decisions for you and your family.

Mental Health Commission: 613-683-3755
Canadian Mental Health Association: 416-646-5557
Crisis Services Canada: 1-833-456-4566, or text 45645

Denisa-Horak Article prepared by: Denisa Horak, Canadian Commercial Corporation

Article edited by Melanie Hudson, National Association of Federal Retirees

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