Your feelings are valid
Information about COVID-19 is rapidly evolving and it's normal to feel nervous or anxious in times of uncertainty. It is helpful to talk about your feelings. Always keep the lines of communication open: call, text, or video chat with your friends, family members, neighbours or coworkers.
Seek credible and reliable information
Stay informed by seeking information from credible sources and avoid unfamiliar websites. A lot of information is shared daily about COVID-19, but not all of it is accurate. It is also important to use discretion when obtaining information shared on social media and posted in comments.
Reliable sources to access information include:
Brant County Health Unit
Ontario Ministry of Health
World Health Organization
Avoid unfamiliar websites or online discussion groups where people post information from non-credible sources or share stories which may or may not be true. Be wary of what is posted on social media, and always consider the reliability of information you see on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Find your balance: Know when to unplug
While staying informed is helpful, too much information may increase stress and anxiety levels and may not provide extra benefit. Be sure to limit your daily consumption of news media and social media, and schedule some time to unplug from phones, computers and other electronic devices.
The best way to manage stress and protect your mental health is by practicing self-care. Self-care can be any of the following:
- Eating healthy
- Getting active
- Meditation or yoga
- Getting enough sleep
Avoid substance use - including smoking and vaping, caffeine and alcohol
Some people use substances, including smoking or vaping, to cope with stress, anxiety and depression. This may appear to help reduce stress initially, but in the long run can make things worse. The brain and body develop a tolerance to the numbing effects of these substances, and people have to compensate by using more and more. That leads to additional harms and often delays the recovery from the stress. Moreover, in those at risk, substance use can lead to an addiction or a relapse in those who are in recovery. If you are in recovery and experiencing stress, it is important to reach out for help before a relapse occurs. In general:
- Reduce or stop using any non-prescribed substance if you can do so safely.
- Take prescription medications as prescribed.
- Try to reduce or avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Seek out professional help if you cannot do it alone.
For additional support or if you need to talk to someone:
Province of Ontario|