Mental health (COVID-19)

Be mindful of your mental health and the mental health of others

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives in many ways. This impact may be causing stress, anxiety, fatigue, confusion, and worry. It is normal to feel this way. The following are tips to support your mental health and the mental health of others during as we navigate this pandemic.

Keep yourself informed

Keep yourself informed by seeking information and practical guidelines about COVID-19 from reputable and trusted sources like Public Health Sudbury & Districts, government organizations, and the World Health Organization.

Recognize and focus on what is in your control

We cannot control the fact that we are in a pandemic, but there are many things we can focus on that are in our control. This includes caring for our body and mind, connecting with others, practising COVID-safe behaviours and staying up to date with the COVID-19 vaccine, including the recommended booster doses as you become eligible.

Maintain a routine

Try to keep or establish a regular daily schedule. A routine can help us feel a sense of control. Wake up and go to bed at the same time. Have healthy meals and snacks at the same time. Make time for physical activity, and things you enjoy.

Be kind to yourself

Life during a pandemic can be challenging. Give yourself a break, you are doing the best you can. For many of us when we are faced with difficulties or failures our negative inner voice can make us feel worse. Treat yourself like we would a close friend, with kindness and support. This is important for our emotional resilience. Try listening to guided self-compassion ( practices for adults (Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion) and for teens (Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion).

Take care of your body

Make time for yourself and for things you enjoy

Distractions can help give your brain a break from thinking about things that worry you. Doing something positive is a healthy coping strategy. Here are a few suggestions:

Focus on the good

Looking for positivity, joy and being grateful is good for your mental health. Setting an intention to look for the good will help you notice the little moments of joy, like someone smiling at you, a sunrise, a thank you. What are the good things about working from home? Is there less traffic on your way to work? Did you rediscover a passion? Even when we have a bad day there’s always something positive to notice. (

Stay connected

Maintain your social networks but think ahead and always assess the risk associated with your activity, take steps to stay safe (such as maintaining a physical distance from others and wearing a mask) and know when to stay home.

When heading out, attending a gathering or spending time in crowded places, and  follow COVID-safety tips.

Practise ways to calm and relax your body and your mind

Make a coping and safety plan

You may find it hard to think clearly when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Writing down a coping plan and safety plan ( when you are calm helps you and the people who care about you be prepared to support you in times of stress. This plan can include what you can do to stay well, knowing what makes you stressed, trying new and old ways to cope, including identifying your supports.

Avoid or monitor your substance use

Some people may choose to use substances like tobacco, cannabis, alcohol, or vaping to cope with stress and challenges. In the long run using substances may make those stressful feelings worse or increase the risk of addiction.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction offers tips to monitor your use if you choose to use substances. Follow Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines and Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines to reduce your risks.

Support others

Kindness is a character strength. You can show kindness in many ways, including sharing your time and talents to help those in need. Knowing and sharing your strengths is good for your mental health and well-being. Other ideas include picking up groceries for a friend or family member, checking in on your older neighbours or family, volunteering or donating to a local charity.

Reach out for help

If your emotions are overwhelming, persistent and/or interfering with your daily life, you are not alone. Please seek support by talking to someone you trust or seeking professional support. See our list of mental health resources.

Visit the Parents and Guardians (COVID-19) page for tips that the World Health Organization recommends.

This item was last modified on June 2, 2022