Mental Health Matters
We have all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help you and your family we have put together some tips and a list of resources for those looking for ways to cope emotionally, and for those seeking further help.
Tips For Staying Healthy During This Pandemic
Maintain a regular routine: Go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. Follow your regular hygiene habits (brushing your teeth, showering, shaving). For the kids, set start and end times for school days. If you are working from home, set start and end times for yourself.
Take care of yourself: You’re not running as many errands, walking the stairs at work, or going to gym class. Make sure you are getting regular exercise – go for a walk with the dog, or take the kids for a bike ride. Exercise produces endorphins that work as a natural anti-depressant. Go easy on the junk food, eat healthy meals and eat at your regular times.
Be intentional about filling your emotional tank: Reduce the screen time and plan something you can look forward to that gives you energy and joy - baking your favourite cake, planting your garden, a designated quiet time, start a new book, do a puzzle with your family, finish that reno project. Spend time connecting with God through His Word, prayer, and reflection.
Encourage, and be encouraged by others: We are wired for connection. We can’t physically gather right now, but there are still ways to stay connected to friends and family. Use technology like Facetime or Zoom, or just a good ol’ phone call. Play a game with another family over a video call. Go for a physically distanced walk with 1-2 friends. Find creative ways to relationally connect with others.
Keep things in perspective: This will pass. Limit your exposure to news coverage, and carefully choose your news sources. Look for the opportunities, whether its organizing that box of photos, spending time with the kids, slowing down and resting, investing in your spiritual growth, or starting something new. Don’t be afraid to accept the feelings of grief or loss right now. Talk them through with a friend or journal as a way of processing them.
When Is It Time To Ask For Help?
You are losing excess amounts of sleep, your appetite has been significantly altered, or you feel like you can’t even get out of bed.
Even small tasks seem overwhelming.
You’re ability to function normally is hindered. Eg) You feel “frozen” with fear at the grocery store, you can’t focus or concentrate at work.
You are avoiding connecting with famiy or friends because it’s too hard to talk.
You quickly and easily lose control of your emotions. Eg) Outbursts of anger, or emotional breakdowns without an apparent cause.
Your coping behaviours are destructive to yourself and your relationships. Eg) Alcohol, drugs, pornography, or even activities such as excessive online shopping or hoarding supplies.
Thoughts of harming yourself or doing harm to others require immediate attention. Talk to a family member or a trusted friend. Call the suicide prevention hotline if you are struggling with these thoughts, or you are concerned about a friend or family member. If you feel like you are in immediate danger or may become a danger to others please call 911.
If you have decided to speak with a counsellor about what’s happening in your life right now, Oasis Church is here to help with referrals. We have working relationships with a number of trained, licensed, and vetted professionals. They are able to continue providing help during this time through virtual appointments until restrictions are eased.
Resources By Topic
Domestic Violence / Family Violence Crisis Helpline
Mental Health Crisis Response Center (Winnipeg)
Official government information websites:
Government of Canada – canada.ca/covid19
Province of Manitoba – manitoba.ca/covid19
City of Winnipeg – winnipeg.ca/emergweb/covid-19