The recent outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 has had far-reaching impacts, including the rise in infections, cancellation of large-scale events, travel advisories, and a downturn in the economy. For many people and communities, the rise of COVID-19 and the resulting consequences are a stressful and anxiety-inducing experience. While reactions may be varied, pandemics can have a large emotional impact, with feelings of fear, sadness, frustration, and uncertainty.

As the status of COVID-19 is continually developing, it is important to focus on the proactive measures we can take to stay emotionally healthy and enact control in our lives during seemingly uncontrollable times.The following are ways to keep safe, calm, and take care of ourselves and our communities.

 

Continue to carry out the recommendations set out by health officials

  • Practicing good personal health and hygiene habits can offer peace of mind that you are taking preventative measures to protect yourself and the community.

 

Gather information from reliable and reputable sources

  • The 24-hour news cycle means we have an abundance of information available to us. However, it is important to be obtaining information from sources such as federal and provincial government agencies, and recognized health organizations.
  • Be careful about reading too much via social media channels, which may induce more fear, and not be entirely accurate.

 

Limit the amount and time spent consuming information

  • Staying up to date is helpful, and at times necessary, but may be overwhelming. Turn off news alerts on your phone or set up time constraints for checking media updates.
  • Practice distancing yourself from conversations about the coronavirus if they are too frequent or trigger distress.

 

Practice self-care

  • Aim to eat a balanced diet, exercise, and maintain sleep habits. You need to stay strong physically to support your emotional wellness.
  • Introduce or continue stress-reducing activities like meditation, stretching, and deep breathing, and try to include other enjoyable activities to bolster positivity.

 

Maintain routines and schedules when possible

  • Keeping up with daily practices maintains a sense of normalcy, and can aid in lowering feelings of stress and anxiety.

 

Share your concerns

  • Giving voice to your concerns and connecting with loved ones can help share and alleviate fears. Remember to do so in moderation, and consider journaling or similar strategies as an additional way to channel emotions.

 

Seek professional help if needed

  • If your mental health continues to be impacted by the stress of the outbreak, seek help from a professional who can help you to manage your concerns.
  • Continue seeing mental health professionals for ongoing concerns, and discuss with your practitioner about maintenance during this time.
  • Remember that distance counselling support can be arranged using confidential video platforms or telephone.

At Calgary Career Counselling and Synthesis Psychology, your health and wellbeing are our priority. Please contact us for further information.

(403) 261-5085 | www.synthesispsychology.com 

 

 

For further information about the coronavirus COVID-19 and best practices to support your mental and physical well-being, please see the following:

https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16944.aspx

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://psychologistsassociation.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2020-March-PAA-Psychological-Health-in-Pandemics.pdf

https://www.distresscentre.com/