Doc Talk #214 – Mental Health during COVID-19

People are saying to say “to heck with it, I’m done with COVID’, but the reality is that COVID is not done with us

Even at the best of times, mental health issues make up a big proportion of the work done by family physicians. During the pandemic, this has only gone up. There is evidence that many Canadians have taken to some of the usual crutches (including alcohol and drugs) to help them cope.

Don’t hesitate to make use of formal supports – probably the easiest way in Alberta is just to call Health Link (dial 811).

Take the time to think about what is important to you. Whether this is spending time with those that are close to you or engaging in meaningful tasks. The noisiness of everyday life means that many of us have not thought that deeply about our lives.

Social connection is really important, and is at particular risk during the pandemic. Loneliness can be as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. If you’ve got some downtime, it’s a good time to reconnect with people you haven’t spoken to for a while. The Canadian Association for Mental Health has a great website, including a social distancing survival guide.

See if you can find a way to sneak some healthier habits into your daily routine (nutrition, sleep, physical activity).

Be mindful in your use of social media – particularly if you are prone to “doomscrolling”. Be sceptical of the news you read, and consider opening a book instead.

For more information about these and other top tips, listen again to this week’s show.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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