Right now, the focus is on stopping the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19. Panic and despair are widespread. But in the coming weeks and months, as we settle into a “new normal” of social distancing and self-isolation, fear will give way to a more insidious state: loneliness. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that “this time of crisis is generating stress in the population.” How can we protect our mental and psychological well-being in such uncertain times?

 Language matters, the WHO says. It is important that we refer to people with disease as people first. 

Don’t – refer to people with the disease as “COVID-19 cases”, “victims” “COVID-19 families” or the “diseased”. They are “people who have COVID-19”, “people who are being treated for COVID-19”, “people who are recovering from COVID-19” and after recovering from COVID19 their life will go on with their jobs, families and loved ones.

Try to avoid news that leaves you feeling anxious and stressed, the WHO recommends. Seek information updates once or twice per day, as a constant stream of news can leave you overwhelmed and feeling hopeless.

Look for opportunities to share positive stories about those who have recovered.

The WHO ‘Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak’ resource is a 5-page PDF you can access online. Click here to get your copy.

What else can do to stay positive and safeguard your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak?

  • Check your local government website for updates on supports and resources available to people and businesses in your area.
  • Use Google Hangouts, Facetime, Messenger Video or Zoom to have video chats with friends and family while maintaining a safe social distance.
  • Focus on your business or career and how it may evolve during the outbreak, and afterwards. Click here to find a remote work or online business expert to discuss your personal situation and help you move forward.