Taking care of yourself is especially important during challenging times, when stress might be higher than usual for both you and your child. By taking care of yourself, you are both helping yourself be the best caregiver you can be, and you are also teaching your child how to take care of themselves.
Tips for taking care of yourself during COVID-19:
- Take breaks from reading or watching news stories about COVID-19. Consider setting aside a specific time each day to catch up on the news and try to avoid checking the news repeatedly, as this can contribute to anxiety.
- When you are looking for information about COVID-19, look to trusted organizations. In B.C., the BC Centre for Disease Control is updated regularly with up-to-date, reliable information. When you access and share accurate information, this can help reduce stress for yourself and others.
- Take time to connect with your own supports, and connect with others about how you are feeling.
- Try to fit in some time for yourself –set aside time to do mindfulness, read a book, have a long shower, or make time for hobbies when you can.
- Try to eat as well as possible, stay active, and get enough sleep.
- Consider developing a self-care and resilience plan – the Mental Health Commission of Canada has developed a worksheet for this here.
The benefits of Mindfulness during COVID-19:
Fitting mindful practices into your daily routine can help calm anxiety, reduce stress, and nourish your capacity for wellness and resilience.
Here are some mindfulness resources that may be helpful to you:
- Check out our Mindful Approach to Parenting and Caregiving section, which includes the foundations of mindfulness, strategies for mindful communication and more.
- In this video, Dr. Dzung Vo, Director of the BC Children's Centre for Mindfulness, shares and facilitates a mindful self-compassion break for this time of crisis.
- This collection offers a variety of mindfulness audio recordings from Dr. Dzung Vo, Dr. Joanna McDermid, and Dr. Jake Locke from BC Children's Hospital
Support services for you during COVID-19:
Don’t hesitate to contact the BC Children’s Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre by phone (toll-free: 1-800-665-1822) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are a parent looking for mental health information, resources, assistance with system navigation, or peer support related to your child’s mental health and wellness. We are here to offer peer connection and support during this difficult time.
There are also some services in BC and Canada that have been launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Find virtual mental health supports during COVID-19 available in BC, including free or low cost counselling options in some communities.
- Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) BC has information, resources, and provides free wellness programs such as BounceBack
- Wellness Together Canada connects you to mental health and substance use support, resources, and free virtual counselling with a mental health professional.