Coping with COVID-19

Reading time:
4 min

While we are living in the midst of a pandemic, it is not uncommon to experience an increase in mental health and wellness concerns such as anxiety, stress, low mood and feelings of loneliness. It can be difficult to cope during this time of uncertainty; however, it is important to attend to your mental health and well-being. Below are some tools, techniques and resources to help you manage during these difficult times.

1. Stick to Factual News Sources

It is important to stay up to date as the Coronavirus situation is rapidly evolving and can change daily (WHO, 2020). However, it can be extremely stressful to constantly read and watch news stories that can bring about feelings of fear and anxiety, particularly those that are not communicated by reliable sources. Setting a boundary for yourself, for example limiting your news intake to 1-2 times a day for 10-minute check-ins, can help to alleviate anxiety, stress and feeling overwhelmed by the current situation. Some accurate sources for Coronavirus news and updates include:

World Health Organization (WHO)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Public Health Agency of Canada

2. Try to Stay Connected

Practicing social distancing can lead to people feeling disconnected and isolated. Do your best to keep in touch with family and friends by telephone, video chat, email, social media, or use a helpline for emotional support. During times of stress, it can be difficult to reach out to others and stay connected. Check in on your loved ones if you have not heard from them in a little while and encourage them to check in on you too.

3. Take Care of Yourself!

The mind and body are fundamentally linked, therefore everyday habits can have a significant impact on your mental health. Some tips for taking care of both your mental and physical health include:

  1. Developing a routine throughout the day
  2. Maintaining a balanced diet and staying hydrated
  3. Exercising – YouTube is a great resource for guided workouts to suit all skill levels
  4. Get enough sleep and try to maintain a healthy sleep schedule
  5. Engage in mindfulness, meditation, art, hobbies, and relaxation techniques
  6. Find the self-care practice that works best for you

4. Focus On What You Can Control

The increased sense of anxiety and stress associated with the novel Coronavirus often comes from a place of wanting to make sense of uncertainty. Accepting the uncertainty and shifting your focus to what you can control can empower you and help reduce feelings of being overwhelmed, fatigued, anxious and scared. Although we cannot control the virus outbreak, we can take steps to reduce our own personal risk, and care for our physical and mental well-being. Some of these steps include:

  1. Following prevention tips to stay healthy (washing your hands, practicing social distancing)
  2. Accessing mental health resources at home
  3. Following all recommendations from qualified health authorities

5. Access Mental health and Well-Being Support

Coping on your own can be difficult, especially during these uncertain times. Thankfully there are many mental health resources available to Canadians who are in need. Below is a list of mental health resources, COVID-19 information/articles as well as some mindfulness and meditation apps:

Mental health, well-being and substance use support

Wellness Together Canada

Kids help phone


First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Helpline

Crisis Services Canada

Ontario 211 for Covid-19

Ontario COVID-19 Mental health network

Big White Wall


Toronto Distress Centre

Assaulted Women’s Hotline

The Gerstein Crisis Centre

Spectra Brampton & Mississauga

Community Crisis Line Scarborough and Rouge Hospital

Durham Crisis and Mental health Line

Oakville Distress Centre


COVID-19 Health Literacy Project (available in 35+ language)

That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief

Stop Trying To Be Productive

Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mental Health and Coping during COVID-19

Coronavirus: How to Protect Your Mental Health

Tolerance for Uncertainty

Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus

How to Cope With Radical Uncertainty

Tips For Social Distancing, Quarantine, And Isolation During An Infectious Disease Outbreak

Care for your Coronavirus Anxiety

Mindfulness & Meditation Apps



Stop, Breathe & Think

Insight Timer