With the recent pandemic that is COVID19, it’s no surprise that more and more people are becoming anxious surrounding the unknown future of the virus and our community. While it may be important to isolate, it is also important to support one another, albeit from a distance. Here are a few tips to help protect yourself both physically and mentally from COVID19.
1. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
This one is a given, and we’ve been hearing it for weeks, but it truly is one of the easiest ways to
prevent the virus from spreading. Start making a habit of washing your hands any time you
arrive at home or work, and as frequently as you can throughout the day especially if you work
with the public. It is recommended to wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds; many
articles and photos have surfaced lately on how you can spend those 20 seconds by humming
different songs; my personal favorite - Gloria Gaynor - I will survive.
2. Don’t touch your face
This is a tough habit to break, but it is important not to touch your face as much as possible.
Many of us do this without even realizing it, as it can be a nervous habit for many people. It may
be time to dig out your fidget spinner from 2018 and carry that around to keep your hands busy-
just make sure to sanitize it regularly.
3. Turn off news notifications on your phone
COVID19 is at the top of most of our minds on a daily if not hourly basis- the last thing we need
right now is even more reminders that the virus is spreading. While it is important to stay
updated on the current situation, it’s also important not to allow the news to stress you out
even more. Turning off the push notifications to news apps can help prevent the constant
reminders from interrupting your day. In order to stay informed, be sure to get your information
from reputable sources such as the World Health Organization or the Government of Canada
website rather than social media outlets like Facebook or Twitter.
4. Avoid non-essential outings
We’ve been hearing this for weeks, but it can be beneficial to not only your physical health, but
your mental health as well. It’s common to become paranoid in situations like this which can be
detrimental to our mental health. Don’t stress yourself out by going into public. Try to plan your
meals ahead and go to the grocery store once a week, rather than every couple of days. When
you are out, make sure you use the sanitizing wipes on shopping carts that grocery stores
supply. Opt for a verbal greeting and bypass the handshakes or hugs, and you can always keep
hula hoop distance from others (airing on the side of caution).
5. Ask for phone or video options
Many workplaces have asked their employees to work from home, and it is looking like more
situations like this will be coming in the near future. If you have appointments such as therapy
or appointments with the bank, ask if they offer either telephone or video conferencing options.
Many companies will offer this option, and it will help to prevent anticipatory anxiety, while still
allowing life to go on.
6. Focus on the positives
Obviously, this is a tough situation, and it’s something we need to deal with. One way we can
keep our mental health in a good place is by focusing on the positive parts of our lives. If you
have been asked to work from home, maybe you get to spend more time with your family or
We would love to hear how you are staying positive in this pandemic. Let us know in the comments below or on our social media platforms. Now is the time to genuinely support one another as a community. Thank you for being kind and respectful of one another’s concerns and feelings.
Dr. Diana Garcia
Dr. Diana Garcia has over 20 years of experience in the field of psychology. She has provided psychological and counseling services in Ontario, and the states of Pennsylvania, and Florida