Top 5 stress and anxiety relief tips during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak

Top 5 stress and anxiety relief tips during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak

By Linda Gould, MA Counselling, OAMHP, Five-Star Relationships

According to leading physicians, fear-based stress and anxiety can, and will, weaken the immune system – the very thing that needs to be strong during a health crisis.

Here are a few things you can do to decrease stress and anxiety:

1. Connect with at least three to five people per day: As social distancing measures are in place across Canada – be sure to stay in regular contact with at least three to five people a day via phone or video: family, church, school, and sports communities are active online. Overall, while you may be physically isolated – you want to keep from being socially isolated.

2. Physical movement: Staying physically active every day while practicing social distancing is paramount. Movement increases stress resilience, reduces depression, boosts happiness, and builds self-confidence. As I’ve read on line, we’re either going to come out of this – “fatter or fitter!”

3. Use breathing exercises to stay calm:  At least 10 rounds – three times a day:

  • Close your eyes, take in five full seconds of deep breaths through your nose.
  • Hold for three seconds and take five seconds to breathe out through your mouth.

4. Maintain a positive and balanced media diet: Along with eating well – we all must remember to maintain a healthy media diet. To decrease stress and anxiety, minimize news viewing to once or twice a day. In addition, try to discipline yourself to spend regular intervals of time offline. As you keep up on the important news updates regarding COVID-19 be sure to balance that news with creativity and a little comedy! 

5. Reach out if you need help: For those struggling with mental health issues, this is an especially difficult time. Be sure to reach out to a professionally trained counsellor if you are struggling – many are offering secure, online video sessions, which can be equally as effective in person.

Linda Gould holds an MA in Counselling from Providence Seminary. She is a member of the Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals, and Five-Star Relationships.

Linda practices using narrative, attachment, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapies. She works in offices in Burlington and Guelph, ON – and online around the world.

Linda creates a safe place for individuals, couples, and families to find support, discover their strengths, and find hope. She has training and experience working with people who have been through trauma, behavioural challenges, mental health struggles, grief, and difficult life circumstances.  and

  Facebook and Instagram: linda_gould_counselling

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