Anxiety Coping Strategies from the Canadian Mental Health Association

June 01, 2020

It is normal to feel anxious, stressed and lonely during these uncertain times. Increased isolation, change in routine, and fear can all have a major impact on our well-being. Although we can’t always control external events, we can control how we respond to them. Here are some tips on how to regain power during these difficult times;

  • Stick to a similar routine – or create a new one! Life looks a little different during this time, so try setting a daily routine for yourself with realistic goals to accomplish.
  • Look after your physical being – one of the quickest ways you can combat stress is by looking after your physical symptoms. Initiate a relaxation response by practicing mindfulness activities such guided meditations, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization. Exercise and movement are another great tool – try an at-home workout, focus on stretching or increase your daily steps!
  • Connect with others – Talk to people you trust. Prioritize social time with friends or family through calling, texting, video chats etc. You can also use CMHA Middlesex’s supportive listening line, and reach out for extra support!
  • Gather accurate information – Understand and determine your risk so that you can take reasonable precautions. Find a credible source you can trust such as WHO website or the Middlesex London Health Unit
  • Engage in recreation and leisure activities- these can help improve our mood and add a sense of play to our day. They are also great distractions techniques – read a book, engage in artistic outlets, play a game, or watch a good movie – whatever you enjoy!
  • Look after basic needs – prioritize regular hygiene, look after household chores, and make sure you fuel yourself with nutritious foods! This will give you a sense of accomplishment and make you feel productive
  •  Alleviate worry and fear – It’s important to be informed of what’s going on with the pandemic, but be mindful of how much time you spend listening, watching or reading media coverage that you perceive as upsetting.
  • Use your skills! What have you done in the past to manage challenging times? Practice those skills daily and choose the ones that work for you.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  • If you require mental health and/or addiction information, support or are in crisis, please call REACH OUT at 519-433-2023 / 1-866-933-2023.
  • If you require immediate mental health crisis support, our Crisis Centre at 648 Huron Street, London is open 24/7. To ensure the health and safety of everyone, you will be pre-screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to receiving services.
  • My Sisters’ Place (MSP)
    566 Dundas Street
    London, ON London Coffee House participants, can go to MSP for support and services. Open Monday – Friday, 11 AM – 1 PM & 4 PM – 5:30 PM and on weekends, 11 AM – 1 PM. Handing out bagged lunches, hot coffee, snacks, harm reduction, basic needs and connect for information & resources.
  • Explore self-management strategies like mindfulness, yoga, meditation, art, or exercise to manage anxious thoughts. You can find self-management strategies for anxiety from Anxiety Canada at www.anxietycanada.com.
  • You can also take the Bounce Back Online, a self-directed course from the Canadian Mental Health Association to help people manage low mood, stress, and anxiety. Visit online.bouncebackonline.ca.