Taking care of yourself is especially important during this difficult time, when stress might be higher than usual for both you and your children. By taking care of yourself, you are both helping yourself be the best caregiver you can be, and you are also teaching your children how to take care of themselves. Below, find some tips for taking care of yourself during COVID-19, as well as some mindfulness resources you might find helpful during this time.
Here are some 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 – set up virtual chats or phone calls, 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:
We know that parents and caregivers might be feeling additional stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this disruptive time, we are all navigating new routines as well as changes to home, school, and work life. Fitting in mindful practices into daily routine can help calm anxiety, reduce stress, and nourish your capacity for wellness and resilience in the midst of crisis.
Here are some mindfulness audio and video resources that may be helpful to you during this difficult time:
- In this video (also featured below), Dr. Dzung Vo, Director of the BC Children's Centre for Mindfulness, shares and facilitates a a mindful self-compassion break for this time of crisis.
- This collection offers a variety of mindfulness audio recordings from Dr. Dzung Vo and Dr. Jake Locke from BC Children's Hospital
- The Child Mind Institute provides information on how mindfulness can help during COVID-19, as well as some simple tips and strategies you can try.
- In this video, called Mindful Parent, Resilient Child, Dr. Chris Willard discusses how parents can practice mindful parenting during COVID-19.
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 expanded services for you launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Find virtual mental health supports during COVID-19, including free or low cost counselling options in some communities.
- The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has information, resources, and provides free wellness programs such as BounceBack®.
For all Canadians:
- Wellness Together Canada connects you to mental health and substance use support, resources, and free virtual counselling with a mental health professional.