The pandemic’s impact on our emotional health
We are all going through an unprecedented time that has forced us to adapt, face new constraints, and follow public health recommendations that are constantly changing.
With multiple sources of stress and routines that have been turned upside down, it’s perfectly normal to feel the impact of COVID-19 on your mental health and well-being. The good news is that there are ways to cope with everything you are feeling right now.
It’s hard for everyone
Montreal is the epicentre of the pandemic in Canada, and our city has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19. This has created widespread anxiety and uncertainty.
New sources of stress
A survey of Montreal residents revealed that they are facing new sources of stress:
- Fear of being infected with the virus or infecting someone else
- Current events and news reported by the media
- Disruptions to schedules and daily routines
- Financial instability or risk of financial losses
- The many instructions and recommendations issued by authorities
- The health of a parent or relative who has contracted COVID-19
Upheavals in many aspects of our lives
It is much more difficult to cope with stress when our basic needs are also impacted. Significant numbers of Montrealers have reported that the pandemic has greatly impacted their financial and food security.
In Montreal, two out of five people have lost their jobs or experienced a significant drop in income.
In Montreal, one in twenty people has reported lacking food due to limited access to groceries or a lack of money. Most of these people had never experienced this type of situation before the pandemic.
More people live alone in Montreal compared to anywhere else in Quebec or Canada. It is harder to maintain social relationships when you live alone, and getting support can be more challenging.
Montreal also has a large number of single-parent families, who face multiple challenges. For example, imagine trying to work remotely when you have to look after your kids or having to find child care if you are an essential worker.
One solution: Boost your coping skills
This situation won’t last forever. However, we have to get ready for more challenges, such as a possible second wave of COVID-19, employment disruptions, and unexpected events. Adapting to anything that comes our way and building our resilience allows us to cope with life’s challenges. We can develop a solution-focused instead of a problem-focused mindset!
Ways to develop your coping skills:
- Keep in touch with family and friends (in person, by phone or over social media).
- Stay informed of the situation so that you can follow the right instructions, but don’t go overboard on social media. Get information (PDF) from reliable sources, such as santemontreal.ca/coronavirus or quebec.ca/coronavirus.
- Maintain healthy habits: Get enough sleep, eat at regular times, and exercise every day (PDF).
- Establish a routine: Make and put up a schedule to help you and your children stick to it (PDF).
Free help around the clock
We all react differently when stress takes over and affects our emotional health.
After going through a tough time, we don’t always feel the effects right away.