Coping with COVID‑19

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Overview

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge amount of stress and uncertainty for all of us, and has drastically altered the way we live, work, and connect with others. On top of these changes to our day-to-day lives, many of us have also experienced significant loss, grief, and trauma that we are still healing from. 

People have had a range of responses to COVID-19. Needless to say, people’s experiences during the pandemic have varied depending on their situation (e.g. whether their job can be done from home, whether they live with others, etc.). That said, some common difficulties that people have faced because of COVID-19 include:

  • Worries about their health and the health of people they care about

  • Financial stress

  • Social isolation and loneliness due to physical distancing rules

  • Uncertainty and anxiety about the future  

  • Low mood and feelings of hopelessness 

  • Difficulties falling or staying asleep 

  • Trouble focusing on work or school 

  • Fatigue and low energy

  • The loss of someone close to you 

Even though it’s been a relatively long time since the pandemic began, it is normal to still feel worried or scared about what’s going on in the world. Many people have found it hard to function the same way that they did before COVID. If you’re having a hard time, remember that it’s not just you, and give yourself permission to fully feel the whole range of emotions you may have in response to this situation. 

To complete a self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms, click here. If you’re in medical distress or in need of urgent help, call 911. 

Resources on Coping with COVID-19

Steps towards wellness

1. Find safe ways to connect with others

If it’s not safe to gather with other people in your area, try out some strategies for connecting at a distance.

2. Try out new kinds of exercise

Even in tough times, staying active can improve your mood & decrease your anxiety.

3. Make time for self-care

Be kind to yourself through simple things, like cooking a healthy meal or taking a relaxing bath.

4. Talk to someone about your worries

We can connect you with a counsellor or crisis responder who will understand what you’re going through & can help you get through it.

Supporting others during the COVID-19 pandemic

1. Reach out to others

Even though the pandemic has made it more difficult to connect with each other, social support is one of the most important things for our mental and physical well-being. If someone you care about is living alone (or in a stressful or unsupportive environment), they might be having a particularly hard time during COVID-19. Making a point of reaching out to them. 

2. Don’t force positivity

The pandemic has brought extreme hardship for many people, and there is still a lot of uncertainty about the future. While it can sometimes be helpful to try to cheer people up by focusing on the “bright side” of things (for example, progress that has been made to vaccinate people), it’s also important to give people space to express their emotions. Remember to be patient and empathetic, and to validate what they’re feeling.

3. Provide extra support

People who are older or who have a compromised immune system are at higher risk of severe illness if they are infected with COVID-19. If you’re close to somebody who is vulnerable (or who lives with a vulnerable person), you can help reduce their stress significantly by offering to do things like going on a grocery run for them (as long as you’re comfortable doing so yourself).

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