Algoma Public Health
Mental Health and COVID-19
It's normal for situations like Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to affect your mental health. Everyone will experience this pandemic in their own way. It is completely natural to feel stress and concern during these times and so it is important to practice positive coping strategies. It is also completely OK to ask for help.
Below are some suggestions to cope with increased stress and anxiety during this time.
If you (or your child) are experiencing thoughts of suicide or harming yourself, please call 9-1-1.
- Make sure you seek out trustworthy information.
Stay informed by checking information from credible sources. There is a lot of information provided each day, but it is not always accurate. Avoid unfamiliar websites or online discussions where people tend to post information from non-credible sources.
- Stay tuned in, but know when to take a break.
Staying informed is helpful, but too much information can increase your stress and anxiety. Try to check sources only once per day or less if you can.
- Decrease the other sources of stress in your life.
Chances are COVID-19 is not the only source of stress in your life right now. Try to reduce your overall level of anxiety by practicing meditation and relaxation or other strategies that may have helped you in the past.
- Seek support when you need it.
Physical distancing does not mean losing contact with your friends and family. Being alone sometimes leads to overthinking about the situation at hand, resulting in high levels of stress and anxiety
- Eat healthy, when you can.
Eating healthy foods helps us feel better. When we are experiencing stress and anxiety, we often choose comfort foods that are not actually good for stress levels or overall health. Where possible, choose more fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water.
- Avoid using substances, including smoking, vaping, caffeine and alcohol.
Some people might turn to substances during times of increased stress or anxiety. Substance use can lead to additional harms and can often delay recovery time from stress and anxiety.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
Getting enough sleep can help reduce the amount of stress we experience, and can help prepare us to manage our stress more effectively.
- Stay active.
Although it may seem difficult physical activity can be a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall mood and health.
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 your healthcare provider.
At Ontario.ca/coronavirus, people can find information about the different virtual mental health and wellness options that meet their unique needs, including online therapy
You may also wish to apply for the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit if you are facing additional financial pressures due to COVID-19.