A public health emergency, like the COVID-19 outbreak, can be stressful. This is especially true for people who have pre-existing medical conditions, who are traveling, or are separated from friends and family. For those who must self-isolate, are choosing to socially distance themselves, or who have otherwise been directly impacted by COVID-19, feelings of concern, loss, anxiety and even fear have been heightened. The ever-changing nature of events these days has left us all experiencing varying degrees of stress and frustration.
It’s more important now than ever to safeguard our mental wellness, including stemming the tide of non-essential information and cutting back on our news consumption. We have been called on as a nation to make some very difficult adjustments. We know social isolation is a major risk factor for mental health problems, while also being aware one of the best ways to safeguard mental health is by engaging in meaningful social contact.
Be mindful. Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. If you’re having trouble managing your stress or anxiety talk to someone you trust. Research confirms that doing good things for others bolsters our own mental health. We can emerge from this stronger if we make sure our neighbours aren’t just physically safe, but mentally safe as well. For parents and caregivers, try to model healthy and positive coping skills. Our children see our emotions through our words, expressions, and actions, so it’s also very important to keep in mind how we respond to the stress of a pandemic greatly affects our children. Modelling calm and constructive reactions will help our children feel calmer, while arming them with more efficient coping skills. During this time of crisis, CFN is providing counselling through phone, texts, emails and video chat. For more information on CFN Vulnerable Population Services please contact Shamaila Akram at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 403-569-3325