May fourth to tenth is Canadian Mental Health Week.
The Upper Canada District School Board’s (UCDSB) Chief Psychologist, Doctor Alison Inglis, says staying connected with others is critical to good mental health during the current period of physical distancing and school closures.
“Humans are social by nature and so people are feeling less connected right now. Social contact with people outside of our homes – whether by phone, video-chats, texting, or even letters – reminds us we’re not in this alone. Don’t just rely on your memory to reach out and connect with others during your day, schedule a time each day and stick to it.”
Some other tips to better mental health according to the UCDSB include:
- Create and maintain a daily routine helps maintain a sense of normalcy.
- Practice being kind to others as showing kindness can help decrease stress and increase mood.
- Make self-care a priority by getting enough sleep, eat healthy foods and exercise daily.
- Follow the news to stay informed of what’s happening in the world but choose reputable news sources, and don’t overdo it. Turn attention to the positive stories happening around you.
- Remain focused on the factors within your control: washing hands, covering your mouth while coughing or sneezing; avoiding non-essential travel and helping out at home.
- Accept that it’s okay to feel worried, irritable, fearful, or to have less focus some days.
- Reach out for help from community agencies if you’re experiencing significant distress for long periods that interferes with your ability to function.
More information about mental health can be found through the Canadian Mental Health Association website here, Children’s Mental Health Ontario website here or the School Mental Health Ontario website here.
The Kids Help Phone number is 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868.