What can I do to feel less stressed during challenging times?

Many things in your day-to-day can affect your mental health and cause anxiety or stress. In these times particularly, being in a global pandemic can be a big source of anxiety for many. There are ways to cope even in the worst of times and manage some of that stress.

Here are some things you can put into practice right away:

  • Practice activities that helped you cope with stress in the past.
  • Limit the time you spend consuming information about COVID online or watching the news.
  • Set realistic expectations and keep busy with things you enjoy.
  • Avoid using alcohol or drugs, excessive food consumption and other extreme, harmful, choices as a substitute to make you feel good.
  • Practice gratitude, mindfulness, and meditate.
  • Stay connected to your friends and family.
  • Connect with your spiritual community to practice your religion.

If you have children it isn’t just your own health that you must worry about, it is also your children’s health. With small children it is hard to tell sometimes if they are experiencing stress because they are  less likely to vocalize their feelings. There are other ways to detect if a child is feeling anxious. Pay attention by observing changes in their behaviour. Things like sudden changes in mood, appetite, or sleep patterns could be signs of underlying feelings of anxiety.

The following videos prepared by Ottawa Public Health have some great strategies to help you cope and support your kids with the stress of the pandemic:

Mandarin

Arabic

Somali


For a list of services to help you with stress and your overall mental well-being read our "Where can I get help with my mental health?" article. 


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Last updated: December 23, 2020 4006450