From Fanshawe’s Student Wellness Centre
The COVID-19 virus has dramatically changed the way we live our lives, impacting the way we work, how we interact with others and how much we venture out into the community. Many of us suddenly find ourselves in situations that are very new to us, such as working remotely while negotiating with family members. Here are some tips to help you maintain good mental health, aimed at people who are self-isolating or working from home.
Build structure into your new routine.
Some of us are very tied into our daily routines. Adapting to a new work location can throw many of us a curve ball when we crave routines. Combined with the uncertainty of the situation, this can create anxiety. Build yourself a new routine, setting aside time for self-care such as exercise (outdoors or in your home), practicing mindfulness, eating well and getting the social connection that you need. Try to stick as close as possible to your old routine so that you don’t feel so disrupted.
Choose a credible news source.
Check out the Middlesex-London Health Unit, Public Health Agency of Canada, or the World Health Organization rather than endlessly surfing to get the latest updates. Beware of misinformation about COVID-19 that can be circulating on social media or less credible sites.
Talk to a professional.
Call your Employee and Family Assistance Program if this is available to you.
Tips for healthier coping.
- Make a list of things that will cheer you up, things that will make you happy. Keep track of when you are slipping into the negative coping mechanisms, and replace them with positive ways of coping/things that will cheer you up.
- A change of scenery can also be great for mood. Even if you are facing a self-quarantine, you can still break out of that isolation and go for a walk or hike, as long as you’re mindful of all recommendations about social distancing and prevention of COVID-19.
- If isolation is making you lonely, reach out to friends through different digital channels. Host a group lunch date with your friends on webcam, or get involved in a healthy online exercise challenge—visit the Student Wellness Centre for some great options!
- If you need to speak with a therapist or mental health professional, virtual visits and telecommunication have made it easier than ever to get the help you need without an office visit.
- Above all else—stay positive and keep focused on getting through this difficult period one day at a time.