Mental Wellness and Resiliency while Coping with COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
-- J.R.R. Tolkien – The Fellowship of The Ring
Dealing with COVID is stressful. For most of us, the measures being taken with COVID have been unprecedented in how disruptive they are to our lives, our families and our friends.
On the one hand, it is understandable that anyone would feel stressed out by the current situation.
On the other hand, overreacting and coping in negative ways are not helpful.
Humanity has faced other stressful times and survived. The good news is that there are many positive ways to cope and be resilient.
First, if you need to, accept that the whole coronavirus situation is unprecedented and stressful. Have a good cry if you need.
Now take a deep breath, and see if any of these suggestions might be helpful..
Do follow the advice of reputable organizations such as those at
Fact: The vast majority of those infected with coronavirus will recover completely.
Don’t follow the advice of unreliable websites or social media, many of whom are intentionally trying to spread false news.
Do focus on those things that you are in control of. For example:
Don’t focus on things that are outside your control, i.e. things which other people do that you cannot control.
Do limit how much you check the news -- for most people, probably once a day is enough. If there is anything critical and urgent, you’ll get it from your other family and friends.
Don’t overdose on news, such as by:
Do remember that even with “social distancing” (i.e. keeping physical distance to avoid transmitting any viruses), you can still connect emotionally with other people through other ways.
Don’t simply isolate yourself from other people and hole up in your home or apartment and go on a long internet binge -- that will definitely make you feeling worse!
Do cope with healthy strategies, and take advantage of the opportunity to do things you normally might not do such as:
Don’t use unhealthy coping strategies such as
- Mindfulness. Focus on the present, and what you can do now, as opposed to dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
- Gratitude: Be grateful for what you do have in your life. We are still far luckier living now in this time than in previous times in history. Better yet, thank the family and friends in your life for what they have done, or mean to you.
- Self-compassion and compassion: Be kind to yourself and others during these times.
Do be hopeful
- Epidemics and disease, disappointment, loss and suffering are a part of human existence, and humanity has dealt with such trying times and survived.
- Do remember that for every negative story we read in the media about people hoarding sanitizer or toilet paper, adversity also brings out the best of humanity, with good news stories such as:
- Businesses that are giving away their excess toilet paper to people in need
- Quarantined Italians singing from their balconies
- Grassroots volunteers in all communities that are offering to deliver food or groceries for those who are shut in…
This too shall pass.
“The word 'crisis’ stands for danger and opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger--but recognize the opportunity.”
― John F. Kennedy
Are you finding that despite your best efforts to cope, you are having troubles with mood or anxiety that are getting in the way of your life?
If so, then consider reaching out to:
- Crisis lines such as
- Your primary care provider
Need some good news?
The Good News Network
A news service that scans the usual news, but rather then focusing on presenting the negative news, it focuses on positive news
Looking for more information to help you cope with COVID?
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Being prepared
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Manage Anxiety & Stress
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Are you a parent or caregiver? You might find these helpful:
Children’s Mental Health Ontario
Talking to your anxious child about COVID-19
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Talking with children about coronavirus disease 2019: Messages for parents, school staff and others working with children
How to Talk to Kids and Teens about the Coronavirus
Article about how to talk to children of different ages about coronavirus
Written by the eMentalHealth.ca Team.
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Information in this fact sheet may or may not apply to you. Your health care provider is the best source of information about your health.
Date of Last Revision: May 23, 2020