COVID-19 pandemic can cause stress and anxiety because it is disrupting normal
life for many people all at once. While it is important to be informed and to
take action to limit the spread of infection, the amount of information and
attention on this topic can increase stress and anxiety.
Strategies to maintain your mental wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic
What has worked for you before that helps manage your stress and anxiety? Many of those strategies you can still rely on. One challenge is that the response to pandemics can disrupt routines; people may stop the activities they use to keep well (e.g., exercise) and engage in activities that can make things worse (e.g., drink more alcohol).
Here are some ideas that might be helpful. Some might apply to you and some might not – or they may need to be adapted to suit you personally, your personality, where and with whom you live, or your culture. Please be creative and experiment with these ideas and strategies.
- Accept that some anxiety and fear is normal
- Seek credible information
- Assess your personal risk
- Find a balance: Stay tuned in, but know when to take a breather
- Bring an intentional mindset to unplugging
- Deal with problems in a structured way
- Remember that you are resilient and be careful with the “What ifs”Challenge worries and anxious thoughts
- Decrease other stress
- Practice relaxation and meditation
- Seek support
- Be kind to yourself
- Eat healthily
- Avoid substance use – including smoking and vaping, caffeine and alcohol
- Get proper rest and sleep
- Stay active
I still can’t cope. Now what?
Sometimes, even after trying to reduce our stress and anxiety, we may continue to struggle. If you still feel significant distress around COVID-19 and feel you are not coping well, you may need extra support from someone like your family doctor or a psychologist, psychotherapist, social worker or other health professional.