Coping during a Pandemic

COVID-19 has created a lot of change. It is normal to be uncertain, anxious, or feel isolated, especially as physical distancing and universal masking became part of the new normal.


Know this: You CAN do this! Cultivating and nurturing healthy behaviours can help you in the future and increase your resilience.


Here are some examples of healthy behaviours:

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Establish a good routine.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Stay connected with your loved ones.

Additionally, here are some other tips and tricks we recommend to help you cope during COVID-19:

  • Practice mindfulness.
  • Take a walk or go for a drive.
  • Spend time on your hobbies.
  • Write, draw, paint, photograph.

How to stay connected with your loved ones

Creating a Social Bubble is so important for your mental health: they are a way to connect with people in a safe manner. It is important to ensure your social circle is kept safe – consider it your “safe space” and treat it with respect. Stick within your own circle so you are able to properly connect with the people in it. You can get close with those in your social circle and get that sense of connection and companionship that is so important when you are taking care of your own mental health.

 

Empathy in Action

Empathy is one of the most important things you can do for your loved ones – by just being present for them, you are being supportive. Know this: you do not need to have all the answers, being present is enough. It shows you are here to help, to listen, and to offer support when needed.

 

Recognize that what you are going through can be different than someone else – everyone has their own unique situation. But by being present, it allows you to meet that person where they are.


You can show empathy in a multitude of ways. Our Mental Health team shared what empathy means to them and how they show it:

  • “Empathy is listening and grows the more we learn. I try to remind myself daily that I never know what someone is going through and to always be kind and considerate of that.” – Brittany, ACC
  • “Empathy is connecting with someone else's emotions, pain and struggle. Trying to understand their experience from their perspective. I strive to demonstrate empathy by listening with an open heart and mind and letting them know they are not alone.” – Julie, Occupational Therapist
  • “Empathy is holding a safe space for one to express or feel their feelings. It is also being able to hold that space for people to discuss their experiences. I remind myself that anything can happen to anyone at any time and strive to treat people as I would want to be treated in our interactions. It is also important to have empathy for yourself if you are unable to do this all the time.” Christina, Social Worker
  • “To me, empathy is about trying to understand the other person’s perspective. It’s about listening actively and meeting the person where they are. You don’t need personal experience or special training to practice empathy, either at work or in your everyday life. Simply being patient, understanding, and nonjudgmental can go such a long way.” Sherri, Manager

Acknowledge Your Feelings

Please know this: you are not alone! It is okay to be tired, angry or frustrated. Acknowledge how you are feeling – this is a weird time, and things continue to change daily. It is okay to feel uncertain about things. It is okay to NOT be okay.

 

Here are a few different ways our Mental Health team recommends to help acknowledge your feelings:

  • First, examine and identify what exactly you are feeling.
  • Understand why you are feeling this emotion.
  • Assess how often you experience having this feeling and how it impacts your day-to-day life.
  • Decide how to want to respond to your feelings.
  • Ask yourself if you need help and do not be afraid to ask for help if things get too overwhelming.

Care in the Community

There are multiple different places within our community that are available for you, be it by phone, email, text, or virtual meetings.

 

Our Mental Health team has compiled a list of resources that are available for you.


If you would like to talk to someone:

  • Bounce Back - a free, guided self-help program. Participants receive telephone coaching, skill-building workbooks, and online videos to help them gain new skills to regain positive mental health. Contact: 1-866-345-0224
  • Psychologytoday and Ementalhealth have information on a variety of mental health topics and you can search for free for service therapy in your area.

In crisis: call the Mental Health Crisis Line at 613-722-6914


If you or someone else is worried about your drug and alcohol use:

  • Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinic (RAAM) harm reduction approach for issues with alcohol and opioid use. Contact: The Royal 613 722 6521 ext 6508
  • Service Access to Recovery helps people navigate the addictions treatment system to find the support and treatment options that are right for them. Contact: 613 241 5202

If you would like self-help resources:

If you are looking for Peer Support:


Be Kind

Be kind to yourself and to others. Kindness conquers all.