April 22, 2021
More than a year into the pandemic, about a quarter of Canadians are experiencing high levels of psychological distress. Concerns about our health, social isolation, changing routines, and the pandemic’s economic effects continue to take a toll. It’s natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry, so we’ve compiled some tips to maintain or improve your mental health while working from home.
Start your day in a positive way
Try not to rush through your morning routine and do something good for yourself before starting your workday. For example, you could go for a walk, read a book, listen to music, or try a mindfulness exercise.
Mindfulness is well known to make people feel calmer and cope better with stress. By starting the day with a simple mindfulness exercise, you can check how you’re feeling and connect with your environment. If you’d like to try some mindfulness exercises, there are many free resources online, including the ‘Notice 3 things’ exercise, a guided meditation, or setting an intention for the day.
Keep a regular schedule
Routines, even simple ones, can be essential anchors to maintaining good mental health and dealing with anxiety during the pandemic. Adapting and creating positive new routines can help keep you motivated and reduce stress.
Experts suggest scheduling your day and setting up a designated space for you to work and learn. Blocking time in your daily schedule for periodic breaks for recharging, meals, and self-care are especially important.
Exercise and stay active
Exercise is good for your physical and mental health. Something as simple as getting up and moving around your home, stretching, planks or jumping jacks, reduce or alleviate stress and increase endorphins. You can also check out YouTube videos, free live streams, or fitness apps for workout ideas. Of course, if circumstances allow, getting some fresh air and moving your activities outdoors is always a great idea.
Stay informed, not overloaded
Hearing upsetting or anxiety-provoking news triggers a stress response in our bodies, so managing your information intake can improve how you feel. Try to limit the time you spend listening to, watching, and reading the news or browsing social media.
Practice good sleep hygiene
Good quality sleep makes a big difference in how you feel. Some tips for good sleep hygiene include:
Stay connected and ask for help
Connecting with others releases feel-good hormones that help to relieve stress. Set aside time to speak to friends, family, or colleagues every day and try talking about any concerns you may have with people you trust.
If you feel like you need additional mental health or addictions support, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. If you are experiencing a crisis, reach out to a crisis line, call 911 or visit your nearest Emergency Hospital.
Call 1-833-456-4566, available 24/7/365
Send a text to 45645, available 4 p.m.-midnight EST