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Strategies to Support Mental Health and Wellbeing

Strategies to Positively Support Your Mental Health through the Pandemic

C. Wade
The potential for COVID-19 to impact mental health was recognized early in the pandemic.  Measures necessary to contain the virus’ spread such as widespread restrictions on movement, social distancing measures, physical isolation, loss of employment and social interaction, remote working and home schooling – were all geared to negatively impact mental health. 

Stress, confusion and anger are commonplace as a result of the pandemic resulting in increased anxiety, depression, PTSD and substance misuse.

It’s never been more imperative for people of all ages to focus on their mental health and utilize strategies to assist coping with the effects of COVID-19.

1. Stay connected and maintain communication with your loved ones:  Regularly check in with your friends and family to stay connected – seeking fun ways to interact. 

2. Engage in healthy activities you enjoy which are relaxing:  Avoid too much screen time and allow yourself to switch off by dedicating more time to your hobbies or starting something you have wanted to try but haven’t had the time.  

3. Utilize the benefits of exercise:  Exercise offers a wide range of positive benefits towards aiding our mental health, including mitigating and reducing stress and enabling our minds to remain clear and focused during the pandemic.  In addition to regular exercise, experts recommend meditation, yoga and breathing techniques as beneficial coping strategies.

4. Ensure you have a good nights sleep:  Sleep is a critical biological process and as we juggle the mental, physical and emotional demands of the pandemic, not being sleep deprived is arguably more critical because - Sleep empowers an effective immune system.  Solid nightly rest strengthens our body’s defenses

5. Create healthy eating habits:  Eating a nourishing, balanced diet impacts our overall sense of wellbeing and while the pandemic continues to affect everyday life, a healthy, nutritional approach is imperative towards supporting our mental health.

6. Maintain a healthy work-life balance:  If you are working from home ensure you are allocating specific work hours, taking regular breaks and if possible, creating a dedicated workspace conducive to being productive.

7. Avoid news and social media if this is filling your mental health cup:  Monitor your daily screen time and the potential negative impact on your mood and energy levels of media and social media channels. Switch off and focus your energy on the things you can control not what is beyond your control.

8. Seek support:  If you or a loved one require further support there are a number of available options.
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