COVID-19 Blog Series: Mental Health Matters!
- Written by Lynne Lafave & Ceilidh McConnell
What a year 2020 has been. Somehow, it has managed to be both an unpredictable and predictable year at the same time. Every day feels the same, but you never know what to expect – can you relate? While feelings of stress can be normal at any time, these feelings may have intensified this year in the midst of a global pandemic.
Recognizing the impact COVID-19 has taken, we will be sharing 2 Blogs in our COVID-19 Blog Series that will centre on mental health and well-being during this time. First, we will focus on mental health and well-being for you with some COVID-19 related tips and ideas. Then next week, we will look at ways to support child well-being.
Though we all try to maintain as normal a life as we can, safety precautions due to COVID-19 have changed our daily patterns. One of these changes may include not being able to interact with your social support system the way you did in the past. We have collected a selection of resources and strategies to support your self-care practices during these unprecedented times. Many of these resources also serve as a reminder that you are not alone in how you are feeling, we are all in this together.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) is one of our favourite resource hubs. Local and reliable, the AHS website is a rich resource of information on how to manage both your physical and mental well-being.
Help in tough times. Use this AHS link to find support, community sessions, and resources for COVID-19. AHS is also currently offering FREE virtual stress management workshops, check out this link for more details and how to register.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is a website full of information on mental health based on evidence-based research. The following are tools and tips to support your mental health during this time:
Apart but not alone. A fantastic landing page with a number of tools and assessments that provide reliable information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as suggestions to cope, connect, and share.
Quarantine and isolation. Having to physically distance from friends or family has been an adjustment to our usual way of functioning. This link offers tangible steps to living better in quarantine/isolation and ways to support loved ones that are struggling with being alone.
Stressbusters and strategies. Whether stress has been induced by COVID-19 or other factors, this link is a wonderful resource that provides many different strategies and exercises to help manage stress and anxiety.
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is an established mental health organization with the goal of connecting people with resources. The information provided on the website is reliable and research-based.
Building resilience supports good mental health. Refer back to these resources as frequently as you need when experiencing feelings of stress and anxiety. For additional tips on self-care during this time, see our blog Taking Care Of Yourself During A Pandemic: 5 Tips For Self-Care! In need of extra support? Reach out and connect with a family member, friend, co-worker, or medical professional. You are not alone.
For ongoing tips on how to manage stress and incorporate self-care habits into your routine, make sure to follow us @CHEERSforchildcare on Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to check back next week for the next installation in our COVID-19 Blog Series where we will discuss children’s mental health and resources that will help you support children’s well-being during this challenging time.
Lynne Lafave is an associate professor in the Department of Health and Physical Education at Mount Royal University in Calgary Alberta. She holds a doctorate in nutritional sciences and her research focuses on nutrition, physical activity, and well-being initiatives in early childhood education and care. As the principal investigator on the CHEERS project, she works jointly with early childhood educators and CHEERS project coordinators to support early child health and well-being initiatives in the early childhood education and care setting.
Ceilidh McConnell is an MSc Psychology graduate student at the University of Calgary in HOPELab studying empathy and decision-making in adolescents. She obtained her BA (Hons) in Psychology at Mount Royal University.