We are going a little “stir crazy” staying inside. Can you offer quick mental health tips for those stuck indoors?
Answer by Dr. Gail Beck, Clinical Director of The Royal’s Youth Program
If people are feeling cooped up and tired of being inside, it’s important to remember that, as long as you keep a distance of two metres between yourself and other people, public health experts say it’s OK to go outside for a walk or do yard work and play.
If you really cannot get outside and you find yourself becoming more and more anxious, connect online with friends if you have access to a device and WIFI; most wireless companies have become more forgiving of wireless usage so why not take advantage of this? With an account, you can also download a magazine from the library or a film or an audiobook. CBC has all of its programming available free for the time being; this will provide a lot of entertainment for you and your family.
Music and exercise are the two activities that most consistently help us manage anxiety or depression so you can get out your playlist, or build a new one. You can also find exercise websites online: for example https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene which features yoga.
Also, remember that if mindfulness exercises help you relax, The Royal’s Healthy Minds App has several good tools embedded in it to help you manage stress: https://www.theroyal.ca/resource-library/healthy-minds-app
First published in the Ottawa Citizen: https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/beck-covid-19-your-questions-answered/