TORONTO, Dec. 24, 2022—Dealing with pandemic fatigue, focusing on the positives and staying connected with friends and family are some of the Ontario Medical Association’s key mental health tips for this holiday season and winter months.
This is the time of the year when a type of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder occurs, at the same time many people are still dealing with pandemic fatigue, loneliness and stress from organizing holiday events. Here are eight tips to help you cope.
If you’re still feeling stressed about the pandemic almost three years after it started, your feelings are valid.
As we deal with the triple threat of RSV, COVID-19 and the flu, good public health measures have both physical and mental benefits: wearing masks in indoor public settings, washing hands, physical distancing when appropriate, and being up-to-date with flu shots and COVID boosters. You can have peace of mind from knowing you’re doing everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Focusing on the positives like personal accomplishments or career achievements is a simple, but effective, exercise to offset a low mood. This can help to put things in perspective when negative feelings pop up and remind us of what’s possible in the future. Consider a memory book or art project to commemorate these moments.
It’s important to disconnect by reducing your screen time and taking a walk outside or engaging in other physical activity.
Stay social with family, friends and others, especially those who are elderly, vulnerable or live alone.
Try to make it a priority to find time for yourself to recharge and to refocus, even if just to take a walk or read a book.
If you need support, don’t be afraid to reach out to trusted friends and family. If you need more, contact a professional. If you are feeling suicidal or unsafe, go to your nearest emergency department or crisis centre.
Help yourself by helping others. Putting up decorations, cooking a meal, running an errand or just being a shoulder to lean on can have mental health benefits.
The Ontario Medical Association represents Ontario’s 43,000-plus physicians, medical students and retired physicians, advocating for and supporting doctors while strengthening the leadership role of doctors in caring for patients. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in transforming Ontario’s health-care system.
For more information, please contact:
Emily English, Sr. Advisor, Media Relations