MINDFULLY MANAGING STRESS – COVID TOOLKIT
Managing stress and mental health issues before the global pandemic was challenging at the best of times. But with the added pressure of meeting pandemic health requirements such as social distancing and wearing a mask, even the simplest of tasks may bring feelings of fear, anxiety, and loneliness, making it feel near impossible to keep a healthy routine.
In these unprecedented times, it may be helpful to create a COVID Toolkit with trustworthy sources of information about the pandemic, as well as how to cope with the stress brought on by living through the pandemic itself. When feeling overwhelmed, depressed, in pain, or confused, taking the time to access our own personal COVID Toolkit is important. In mindfully giving ourselves permission to seek reprieve from the stress, we’ll strengthen our resilience and ability to manage debilitating and sometimes serious symptoms of stress. Here are a few tools we can consider putting into our Toolkits…
- Continuing to practice basic hygiene and safety, such as routine handwashing (20 seconds!) wearing a mask, avoiding crowded places.
- Continuing to follow social distancing recommendations: 2 metres from others, even when others do not seem to do so!
- Checking our provincial or state government’s COVID response website.
- Downloading the COVID contact tracer App.
- Checking out the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Mental health and The COVID-19 Pandemic website.
- Reading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on Coping with Stress during the pandemic.
- Finding the best ways of Taking care of your mental and physical health during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Moving our bodies – taking walks, stretching, and engaging in safe ways to move and connect, such as joining our weekly online Mindful Movement sessions.
- Practicing mindfulness daily.
- Connecting with family and friends through Zoom, Facetime, or Skype.
- Taking breaks from the media: Turning off the news, throwing away the newspaper, and turning off your phone news feed.
- Watching Dr. Mike Evans YouTube video The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Stress.
- Taking a drive to enjoy the glorious Fall colours.
- Eating healthily: taking time to prepare food from scratch; buying local and fresh and enjoying it to the full.
When this all started, we learned how viruses spread and how to wash our hands like pros. Now we have lessons to learn about what happens to mental health in a crisis like this, so we can find ways to address it. With many people around the world experiencing fear, anxiety, and depression, it’s helpful to remember that you’re not alone – we’re all in this together. And there’s an App for that!