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There are many strategies that can be used to keep well during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Follow the usual measures for reducing the risk of transmitting respiratory illnesses.
Taking the appropriate safety measures to protect and maintain physical health during the COVID-19 pandemic can help to alleviate the stress and fear that may be associated with this disease.
Engage in daily physical activity.
Find ways to stay active during the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical activity and exercise does not have to be too complicated. It can simply include taking the dog for a walk, riding a bike, playing active video games, or having a dance party! While engaging in physical activity, always keep a physical distance of 2 meters between yourself and others. If you are required to self-isolate, remember that you cannot leave your home.
Virtual workouts and fitness classes are also widely available online for all fitness levels. For more great tips on selecting an online fitness class or staying active during the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the Physical Activity section of this website.
Eat healthy and sufficient foods at regular intervals according to Canada’s Food Guide.
Eating healthy can help to increase feelings of both physical and mental well-being. Canada’s Food Guide has many healthy eating tips, cooking guides, and healthy recipes for individuals and families to follow. Give some of the recipes a try! Cooking healthy recipes at home can be a great opportunity to bring the family together and do a fun learning activity.
For more great tips on developing food skills, preparing meals, and maintaining a healthy diet during the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the Food & Nutrition section of this website.
Practice meditation, relaxation techniques, or yoga.
Free guided meditations, relaxation exercises, and yoga classes can be found on Youtube or through Apple/Android apps. These practices can help to reduce anxiety or stress, instil a sense of calmness in the mind, and help individuals think more clearly. A few examples are provided below:
- For Adults: 5-Minute Guided Meditation to Relax and Recharge & 5 Minute Breathing Space
- For Kids: Check out Cosmic Kids Yoga on Youtube. They have a variety of yoga and mindfulness videos that parents and children can do together!
Minimize or avoid the use of alcohol and other substances.
Try to avoid using alcohol as a coping strategy to combat stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alcohol functions to slow down the central nervous system, which can create feelings of relaxation and reduce inhibition, judgement, and memory. Other substances, such as cannabis, can have similar short-term effects on the mind, including calmness, elevated mood, and impaired memory or judgement. As a result of these qualities, there are greater risks for increased use of alcohol and other substances during the COVID-19 pandemic as a method to cope with the stressful events that are unfolding. When substances are used as method to cope or temporarily relieve stress and anxiety, it can worsen those feelings in the long-term and increase the risk of developing a substance use disorder. Alcohol use can also weaken the immune system and affect the way in which the body copes with infectious diseases. Other substance use, such as cannabis-use, can increase the risk of worsening health problems for individuals that have pre-existing respiratory conditions.
Healthier methods to cope with COVID-19 stress exist and can include staying active and involved in enjoyable activities, connecting with friends and family for support, practicing self-care, or seeking help from a mental health professional when needed. If you choose to drink or use cannabis, follow Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines and Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines to reduce risk. Make efforts to recognize and avoid possible triggers for alcohol or other substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as emotional or psychological stress.