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Managing Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Managing Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

If the COVID-19 pandemic has you feeling overwhelmed, you are not alone. In fact, many of us are feeling the exact same way. It’s completely normal to be worried – about how long this will last, about whether or not you and your loved ones will be impacted and if you’re prepared enough to self-quarantine.

However, it is important to remember that when things feel out of control, our mental health is still in our hands. There are steps we can all take to help calm some of our anxieties and boost our mental health. We wanted to share some tips with you on how to manage your mental health during this challenging time. Please see below for our tips:

Tip 1: Acknowledge that your feelings are valid

  • It’s completely normal to feel worried, stressed, overwhelmed, angry or scared
  • This may be the first time that most of us have experienced anything of this calibre
  • Knowing that your feelings are valid can help you understand them and work towards pushing past them to optimize your mental health

Tip 2: Don’t dwell on your fears

  • Although this is a difficult time in the world, try not to dwell on your fears because you won’t be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel
  • Instead, try to focus on the positive and what you can control rather than getting stuck focusing on the negative and what you can’t control
  • If the COVID-19 pandemic is making you anxious, try doing things like breathing exercises, mindfulness or meditation to help you feel some calm again

Tip 3: Be mindful of the news and the media

  • At times, it can seem that everywhere you look, you will find something about COVID-19
  • There is a lot of information out there, so it is important to be mindful of the source
  • Ensure you are getting facts from experts not rumours/opinions/misinformation from other people

Tip 4: Take breaks from the news and the media

  • Sometimes, the news and media surrounding COVID-19 can seem like it is never-ending
  • Don’t get sucked into a news whirlpool and take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news that causes you to feel anxious
  • Allow yourself a short time to get caught up on the necessary information and then try to move on by focusing on other things

Tip 5: Start the day with a positive

  • Instead of starting your day getting bogged down by the COVID-19 news media, try starting your day with a positive as this can have an impact on the rest of your day
  • You can try doing things like FaceTiming with a loved one, watching some videos on YouTube or reading a good book

Tip 6: Talk about it

  • Talk about your mental health regarding COVID-19 with your loved ones is important because changes are that people in your life are also feeling the exact same way
  • Just talking through your anxieties with others can help make things better

Tip 7: Stay connected

  • Isolation and loneliness can come with COVID-19 due to social distancing and self-quarantine
  • Stay connected with your loved ones and maintain your support networks
  • If you are limiting your physical contact with others, use alternative means to stay connected, like phone, text, FaceTime/Skype, email, social media, etc.

Tip 8: Pay attention to your needs

  • Keep regular sleep routines, drink enough water, eat healthy food and partake in light exercise to maintain both your physical health and your mental health
  • Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing, such as doing a crossword, putting together a puzzle or listening to music

We are also excited to announce that, during this time, the BC Epilepsy Society will be hosting online support groups. Please see below for more information:

  • Support Group for Adults with Epilepsy
    • Support group for adults living with epilepsy aged 25 and above
    • Held every Thursday at 7:00 PM
    • The first session will be held tomorrow, March 26th at 7:00 PM
    • Please click here at 7:00 PM tomorrow to join the support group
  • Support Group for Young Adults with Epilepsy
    • Support group for young adults living with epilepsy aged 18-24
    • Held every Tuesday at 11:00 AM
    • The first session will be held on Tuesday March 31st at 11:00 AM
    • Please click here at 11:00 AM on March 31st to join the support group
  • Epilepsy Friends Forever
    • Friendship group for children and youth living with epilepsy aged 6-17
    • Held every Tuesday at 1:00 PM
    • The first session will be held on Tuesday March 31st at 1:00 PM
    • Please click here at 1:00 PM on March 31st to join the support group

We also think it is a great time to showcase the positive things in our lives such as by posting on social media for our #ishare2care campaign. Posting on social media with the #ishare2care hashtag puts you in a draw to win a $100 gift card from Amazon or SkipTheDishes and the draw will be happening tomorrow, on March 26th, so get your posts up ASAP!

Although it is important to prevent the spread of COVID-19, excessive worrying isn’t going to fix anything. We hope that our tips help you during this time and enable you to experience positive mental health. For more information on COVID-19, check out our blog post on the subject here. Up-to-date information can be found from the Government of Canada here.

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