How to cope during COVID-19

You’ve heard it before; these are unprecedented times. It’s understandable that many of us are feeling anxious, worried, lonely, and uncertain about what the future will bring. You are not alone!

Read on for tips on ways you can cope with any struggles you may be having during these times of social distancing and voluntary self-isolation.

Limit your time reading/watching news reports

It is important to stay up-to-date on the situation as it develops, but unnecessary to get lost in a rabbit hole of COVID-19 news stories. Choose 1 or 2 dependable sources and give yourself a limit on how much time you spend consuming this information. Sometimes social media can make this difficult, but remember that not everything your friends post on Facebook is reliable. Always check your sources. Some legitimate resources for information on COVID-19 include the Health Canada Website, the World Health Organization Website, and the Government of BC Website. (If you live in a province outside of BC, be sure to check the latest health recommendations for your own province).

Maintain your physical health

We have been staying home to protect our well-being and the well-being of others. However, part of staying healthy does include physical exercise. BC’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, has continued to encourage people to get outside and go for walks, runs, or bike rides. This not only supports physical health but also mental health. If you are unable to get outside much, there are still a lot of ways to stay active while inside. Even tidying up around the house will get you moving, but if you want to go a little further with your fitness, there are a wide variety of virtual classes available online. Do a little research and you will find not only paid classes, but also some free online videos that you can use to get active!

Find a routine

Whether you’ve lost your job or you’re at home while working or attending school, life has changed. It can be easy to slip into a vortex of sweatpants, inconsistent sleep schedules, and strange meal times. How we deal with this huge life change is different for everyone, so if your personal best is just getting through the day, that’s okay too. If you are looking for a way to feel a little more “normal”, try to create a consistent routine for yourself. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Wake up and go to sleep around the same time every day. Eat your meals at times that you normally would.
  • If you’re working from home, set up a dedicated space for work, and get dressed and ready for the day. You could even take a morning walk around the block before you start to get that sense of heading to work in the morning.

Person holding a phone

Stay connected with other people

It’s pretty likely that you’ve been part of a Zoom call by now, so you know that there are many online tools available to stay in touch. Connecting with other people is extremely important for your mental health during this time, so find a way to do it as much as possible. Get on a Zoom call, take a walk and say hello to your friend on their balcony, or pick up the phone! Reaching out to friends and family may help give them a little boost to their day too.

Get Help

If you are really struggling during this time, there are many resources available to help you. Please reach out if you need some extra support. Here are some resources you can access right now:

here2talk.ca

The BC government is providing free 24/7 Mental Health support services for post-secondary students.

  • Chat with a counsellor by downloading the Here2Talk app or visiting here2talk.ca
  • Speak to a counsellor by phone
    • 604-642-5212 direct
    • 1-877-857-3397 toll free
    • 1-604-642-5212 for students calling outside Canada (international calling charges may apply)

HealthLinkBC

Visit the HealthLinkBC website for information on virtual mental health support, domestic abuse services, and coping resources based on your age group.

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