Keys Strategies for Coping During COVID-19

Coping During COVID-19


As the isolation enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic approaches the one-year mark, many of us are feeling the effects of the lockdowns. The disappearance of our normal routines, the enforced estrangement from family members and friends, and the anxiety about the future is starting to take a toll on our mental health. Sometimes these difficulties are compounded: parents may be forced to work from home while simultaneously attempting to supervise children. People in shared spaces may disagree about pandemic safety protocols, leading to conflict. Many people are suffering severe financial problems due to lost work. All of us are longing for a return to the activities we enjoy and the chance to be with the people we love. How can we take steps to improve our lives during these uncertain and stressful times? How can we work to improve our mental health and ensure that we come through the pandemic with flying colours, ready to embrace everything that life has to offer?


Making Healthy Choices


One key to coping with COVID-19 stress is to maximize your physical health. Since you’re stuck at home, why not find new healthy recipes that you can try out? We often turn to comfort foods when we’re feeling anxious, but instead choose a diet that’s high in fibre and vegetables. Health Canada has some excellent suggestions for shopping and eating during the pandemic.


Don’t forget about exercise. Work on a dance routine in your bedroom or set up a mini-gym in your home office. Exercise releases endorphins, which can lift your mood. Meditation can also be helpful: try it out. There are many books, videos, and even apps that can guide you through the process. If it’s not for you, try a meditative activity such as colouring or closing your eyes and really listening to your favourite music. A relaxing activity can recharge your batteries!


Following Health Guidelines


And of course, pay attention to COVID-19 public health guidelines. Follow the recommendations regarding contact with people outside your household; these change according to the impact of the virus on your area, so pay attention to the relevant news items. Make sure that when you do go outside, you wear a face covering with the recommended number of layers and try to avoid touching it or taking it off while you’re out. If it’s a reusable cloth covering, wash it before wearing it again. Stay two metres away from people in the grocery store or on the sidewalk. Wash your hands often, and thoroughly, and carry hand sanitizer with you when you’re out. If you are feeling ill, get a COVID test and quarantine until you get the results. Doing everything you can to avoid getting the virus can also help you to feel more in control during this era.


If you do find that your mental health has deteriorated to the point where it’s affecting your life adversely, reach out. There are online therapists and other resources available to help.