Mental Health and Wellbeing: How Canadians Coped During Covid-19

COVID-19 has had devastating effects on our mental health and well-being.

Since March 11, 2020, after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic, countries and states all over the world had to respond immediately by putting strict contingent measures. These included lockdowns, the abolishment of all social gatherings, wearing face masks, staying at home directives, and so on to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

As for Canadians, the devastating effects of COVID-19 had a huge effect on their mental health and wellbeing. High levels of fear, stress, and anxiety were evident in accessing food, public transportation, housing, and even visiting or receiving a loved one from a healthcare facility. The effects were perhaps more pronounced amongst individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

In this piece, we are going to highlight how Canadians coped during COVID-19 concerning mental health and wellbeing.

1. Government Support 

Many countries around the world had to relook at their public health insurance plans a few months into the pandemic. As seen in the block chart embedded by Compare The Market below, quite a few countries made further investments in research, awareness initiatives, and public health support to boost their citizens’ mental health and wellness. Surveys revealed that Canada is among the top 8 overall when it comes to the investment response by countries’ to their citizen’s mental health aid. This was achieved by The Quebec Government in Canada invested CAD $100 million in funding in mental health services.

2. Staying Connected, Even if Physically Isolated

Even if most Canadians were physically disconnected, due to social distancing, lockdowns, and curfews, they helped each other cope via phone calls, video chats, and so on using online communication software such as Zoom, Skype, and the like. That way, friends, relatives, or family members felt less lonely or isolated even if they were far from each other.-thanks to the technological advancement in digital communication.

3. Staying Informed But Not Obsessively Checking the News 

While it was important to stay informed about everything going on, Canadians were advised to keep off from obsessively checking the news. If there’s something we all know by now, the crisis is real, and that’s for sure. However, there was a lot of misleading COVID-19 information out there. Any misleading COVID-19 update would only make the situation worse by elevating anxieties, fear, and stress levels.

So, to be on the safe side, Canadians were encouraged to stick to trustworthy sources of COVID-19 updates such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and their local public health authorities. They were also urged to limit checking for updates so often, to stay away from media in case you start feeling overwhelmed, and most importantly to be cautious about the information they share.

3. Practicing Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness techniques was another great tactic that helped the Canadians to maintain good mental health and coping amidst the COVID-19 virus pandemic. In fact, according to clinical psychologist experts, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction involves paying attention to what is happening at the present moment purposely and deliberately. With mindfulness, you can shut down negative thoughts about things you can’t control and focus on enjoying even the little awesomeness of life.

4. Helping Others

Amidst crises such as COVID-19, it is crucial to take a deep breath and never forget that “we are all in this together”. As a matter of fact, that’s what Canadians did during the COVID-19 crises. They helped each other in numerous ways. For instance, many donated to food banks to help the individuals in isolation, the elderly, and any other needy group in the communities. The aim was to spread charity throughout Canadian communities even faster than the virus.

5. Finding Ways to Exercise

It is medically proven that staying active helps relieve stress and anxiety. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, most Canadians found solace in home-based body workouts since they couldn’t access gyms and outdoor recreational facilities. Remember, the types of exercises you can do while at home even without any equipment are countless.

Everybody has felt the disastrous effects of the COVID-19 pandemic regardless of race or status. Nonetheless, taking precautionary measures as advised by WHO should be everyone’s priority. That way, together as one, we can defeat this deadly virus.