Tips on managing mental health during COVID-19

Insurance

Many of us may feel anxious, stressed, or worried in this difficult time so we’ve decided to list down some tips on managing our mental health. Our bodies’ way of coping with fear is to respond by giving us a sense of danger. Stress hormones are released inside our bodies which enables us to be more efficient in times of danger. This leads to a rise in heart rate, blood pressure, and alertness.

When this happens, it would help us a lot to think which activities help us relieve stress and pressure. For some this could be a relaxing walk at the park, preparing your favorite meal, or simply talking to the people closest to you.

Here are some ideas that could help you manage your mental health to get you through the pandemic:

1. Stay connected with family and friends 

There might be days when you are anxious and don’t want to see or talk to people, these moments are when you need to stay connected the most. You can invite your friends or family members to your place for a barbecue or movie night. Thanks to the internet, there are many ways to stay connected with the people closest to you even when you’re not ready to see them face-to-face yet to stay safe. 

2. Keep yourself active and productive 

Make sure to stay active preferably outdoors to keep your brain and body working. You can take a walk at a nearby park or take advantage of the awesome weather and visit a nearby beach or lake. If you’re not ready to meet people and want to stay safe in your home, you can try gardening or playing sports activities in your backyard. Idleness can cause us to feel a lack of purpose and focus which leads to anxiety so make sure to intentionally keep your mind and body active daily.

3. Offer your help to others 

Research shows that doing things for others helps improve our mental health. Check in on your parents, siblings, and friends if they need a ride or if they simply need someone to talk to and hangout with.

4. Practice mindfulness or relaxation practices 

Whenever you feel anxious or worried, practice mindfulness, meditation, or yoga to relieve some of the tension. You can also keep a gratitude journal or deep breathing exercises to reduce your stress levels.

5. Take good care of yourself and eat healthy 

Foods that contain omega-3 give a good boost to our mood. Some foods that are rich in omega-3 are fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines. If you’re not into fish, try avocados, beans, leafy greens, flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts.

6. Try to get enough sleep 

If your sleeping patterns have changed due to quarantine, try going to bed and waking up the same time everyday even on weekends. Avoid caffeine eight hours before bedtime. Prepare your body for more sleep by spending time outdoors everyday and keeping yourself active.

If you need support managing your mental health, the City of Toronto has partnered with a number of emotional support providers to their residents.

By Katia Barretto