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Being mindful of your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

It is normal to feel worried and overwhelmed as the COVID-19 pandemic persists, and you may be looking for ways to manage your stress and anxiety during these unprecedented times. Here are some tips to be mindful of that can help you and your loved ones.

COVID-19 has resulted in many changes for individuals and their families all across the country. Social isolation due to physical distancing, financial and employment uncertainty, and disruptions to your normal life routines can all be significant stressors in your life. You might feel like you no longer have control of things. It is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused or worried. Everyone reacts in a different way. Some common feelings you may feel during these times include:

  • Concern about your loved ones and their well-being
  • Fear of getting sick with COVID-19 or making others sick
  • Worries about your job or finances
  • Helplessness, boredom, loneliness, anxiety or depression due to isolation or physical distancing

During these times, it is important to be extra vigilant about taking care of your mental, physical, and social well-being. Here are five tips on taking care of your mental health during these times:

  • Be kind to yourself

First and foremost, it is important that you be kind to yourself. There is a lot going on and some anxiety and fear is normal. COVID-19 is a new virus and we are still learning about it. It is normal to feel uncertainty during these times. Don't be too hard on yourself if you are still adjusting to the situation or if you are not feeling like your most productive self.

  • Seek credible information

There is a lot of information available on social media and the internet. As COVID-19 is an evolving situation, information on this topic in the media may not always be accurate. You can stay informed by checking information from credible organizations such as:

  • The World Health Organization
  • Health Canada
  • Your provincial ministry of health 
  • Your local public health unit

You should avoid unfamiliar websites or online forums where people may post information from non-credible sources or share stories that may not be true. 

  • Limit time spent checking the news

Although it is good to stay updated with the current news, it can also be overwhelming and cause more stress. Try to vary the content you read over a day so not all the news and updates you read are COVID-19 related.

  • Maintain a healthy routine

Take care of your body with healthy food, regular exercise, and proper rest. You should also manage your caffeine and alcohol intake. Practicing relaxation strategies and meditation can help you reduce or manage your stress. You can try formal meditation practice such as yoga or mindfulness meditation, informal or self-help books and online videos, or just relax by doing an activity you find enjoyable. 

  • Stay connected 

Physical distancing does not mean you should be completely alone during these times. Staying connected with your loved ones that are a positive influence can be helpful when you are stressed or anxious. Reach out and stay connected through email, phone calls, video chat, text messaging or social media. There are also many support groups available, both online or by phone, that can help you navigate these times and find support and resources in your area.

If you are having trouble coping, you can always reach out to your healthcare provider or another mental health provider in your community. There are also confidential virtual or phone support services that provide access to support workers, social workers, psychologists and other healthcare professionals. The Wellness Together Canada portal for mental health and substance use support also offers a wide range of resources and support for Canadians.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Being-mindful-of-your-mental-health-during-the-COVID-19-pandemic

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