Public health experts are concerned that months of isolation and physical distancing can lead to mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, for some Canadians undergoing COVID-19 restrictions. Increasing social connections, being physically active, and calming the mind are positive and preventative measures that can improve mood and reduce anxiety. In addition, showing kindness to others and limiting one’s exposure to negative news can also help cope with the difficulties of the current situation.
Public health and mental health experts are rightly concerned that months of isolation and physical distancing may cause mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, in some Canadians undergoing COVID-19 restrictions. Fortunately, there are many positive and effective mental health strategies and preventative measures that you can put in place to continue to comply with the physical distancing orders.
Here are some tips for boosting and strengthening mental health that can help you cope with the challenges of the current situation:
Maintain and expand your social connections.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has replaced the term “social distancing” with “physical distancing” to emphasize the importance of maintaining social connections for mental well-being and health. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) advises scheduling video and “old-fashioned” phone calls to connect with family and friends on a daily basis, and to reconnect with friends or relatives you haven’t seen in years. Alternatively, you can talk face-to-face with friends, family, and neighbors from a safe physical distance of two meters.
Be physically active.
According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, a brisk daily walk, or another exercise, can help improve mood and reduce anxiety by releasing feel-good chemicals in the brain called endorphins*.
Calm your mind
Meditating, listening to music, watching a beautiful sunset, or spending quality time with a canine companion can reduce anxiety and emotional discomfort. Petting a dog can also lower blood pressure and heart rate*, reports Harvard Medical School.
Take care of yourself.
Get enough sleep, eat healthy foods and spend time in the fresh air to feel less stressed, recommends the ACSM. Establish a new daily routine to become more comfortable with change and uncertainty, and do things you enjoy to relax, have fun and recharge your batteries, both physically and mentally, suggests the chair of the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University.
Limit your exposure to negative news
While it’s important to keep up with public health recommendations, the University of Toronto advises limiting your daily media exposure* if the news is getting you down. Look for stories that give hope or create a sense of belonging.
Use your resilience.
Draw on the skills you used to cope with life’s challenges to manage your emotions and adapt to the challenges of the pandemic,* WHO recommends.
By helping others, you can put your own concerns* on the back burner and make a difference in their lives, suggests Psychology Today magazine. Acts of kindness can also give you a sense of control and open your heart*.
Seek out virtual counseling or support services.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider seeking additional support through virtual counseling services, or a video or phone consultation with your family doctor,* advises CMHA. Get the best cbd anxiety available in this website.