Health Life Tech

Managing your Mental Health in a Pandemic

MindShift App, Image by CeeGrrn

The COVID-19 (Corona virus) pandemic has and still is presenting many challenges globally. Despite the known and alarming health crisis, there are issues like mental health that’s easily overlooked.

In the first two weeks of self-isolation, those I checked in with, viewed their isolation period as a blessing; they were catching up on quality time with their families, others caught up with chores, and some binged on their favourite shows. When I checked in with everyone on week three, the bliss began to dwindle.

Self-isolation and social distancing practices can produce several negative mental shifts; considering the health benefits of socializing we have thrived on before the quarantine.

How do we equip ourselves to manage anxiety and depression during the pandemic?

Here are 5 resources to help you:

1. Crisis Service Canada (CSC):

Phone and online services for distress, crisis and suicide prevention. You can also call 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645 for help.

2. Anxiety Canada:

An online self-help resource for anxiety.  They also developed a free app called MindShift to help manage anxiety.

3. Kids Help Phone:

A 24/7 Canadian crisis helpline for young people. Call 1-800-668-6868 or Text 686868 for help.

4. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

US website which pretty much does what its name says, the link above directs you to guidance for mental health challenges during the COVID pandemic.

5. Change the way You Feel by Changing the way You Think:

A free PDF based on bestselling Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) books such as Mind Over Mood, Worry Less, Live More and Overcoming Depression and Low Mood. The PDF provides valuable practical strategies and advice while dealing with stress, anxiety and depression.

MindShift app video courtesy of Anxiety Canada

In addition to the resources above our family does the following:

  • One person stays on top of the news. We’ll share thoughts and feelings when there are changes; such as new policies or alerts during the pandemic.
  • We each have an upbeat playlist we sing out loud and dance to.
  • We make time for fun and games; our family favourites are Charades and Jenga.
  • Everyone gets their beauty rest; sleep is crucial for healthy brain function.
  • Last and certainly not least we stay active, exercise is one of the best mood boosters.

Here’s a great beginner video from POPSUGAR to get you moving :

15-Minute Beginner Workout

If you’re living on your own, consider reducing your news intake to once or twice a day. Connect with friends and family over video chat, plan menus and have virtual dinners together, game nights, dance parties, let your imagination be your guide.

Make positive changes to your mental well-being today with the resources that best suite you. Here’s to a healthy and happier you.

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