Research released on January 25, 2022, by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) shows that levels of loneliness, anxiety and depression are at all-time highs in Canada. In other words, anxiety and depression also are an important part of the public health concerns.
A quarter of the population (25.1 %) reported feeling moderate to severe anxiety while numbers were similar for loneliness at 24.1% and feelings of depression were reported by 22.3 % of people up from 18.6% just last year.
For those in the 18-39 age group, the numbers were 33.5%, 29.1%, and 27.7% respectively. The survey was completed by 1004 Canadians between January 7 and January 11, 2022. The reality is the longer COVID and the measures used to fight it are around, the tougher it is on our mental health.
You’re probably thinking, “So what?! You’re not telling us anything we didn’t already know. Tell us what we can do about it.” So here are a few tips to help navigate these unprecedented times:
1. First and foremost, be intentional. Anxiety and depression need attention.
Your mental health will not just get better. It will take intentional steps from you to make it happen.
2. Stay connected with others
Depression spawns isolation and isolation fuels depression. It’s a vicious circle. Even if face-to-face contact is not possible, make an effort to reach out to others for their sake and yours.
3. Avoid maladaptive behaviours
Drinking, drugs, and eating junk food will do nothing but worsen your health. These behaviours may “feel good” at the moment but they will increase symptoms of depression.
4. Be mindful
Take a few minutes each day to take a break from the anxieties of life and find joy in a simple activity. When was the last time you actually experienced your morning coffee, or the flames in your fireplace, or the laughter of your child/grandchild?
5. Be grateful
Keep a daily journal of things you appreciate. The singular focus of depression can cause us to forget the many blessings we encounter every day.
This one sounds so simple it can’t possibly work. But it does! Spend 5 minutes taking deep full breaths and tell me you don’t feel calmer.
7. Engage in your hobbies
Music, crafting, reading, etc., can all have positive effects on your mental health.
8. Eat healthily
A healthy diet benefits more than just your body. It boosts your mood, gives you energy, and improves your psychological outlook
9. Get some exercise
Find a way (consult with your Dr. if you are concerned) to get out that negative energy instead of storing it up.
10. Adopt a healthy sleep routine
Like a young child who needs their nap time to successfully navigate their day, we all need the right amount of sleep if we expect to deal successfully with our stress, anxiety and depression.
If your anxiety and depression symptoms worsened during the CoVid-19 pandemics, you most probably need professional help. We can provide it to you at ReThinkMe.