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Coping With COVID-19 Stress

How to tackle worries and anxious thoughts

The power of thoughts is unfathomable. Stress and anxiety lay the foundation for wayward thoughts that can shake our beliefs, and even turn dangerous to yourself.

Thoughts such as “This will never be over”, or “I’m not going to get through this”, will have you spiraling down the doldrums like a beloved children’s book character going down a rabbit hole. The important part is to remember that these thoughts are just that: thoughts.

Many time our minds tend to get the better of us – how do we know whether what we’re thinking are just thought or actual facts? The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) – Canada’s  largest mental health teaching hospital – has shared some guidelines on identifying troublesome thoughts while self-isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Collect your thoughts, and identify the ones that are troubling you
  • After identifying a troubling thought, ask yourself:
    • Is this thought true?
    • How do I know it’s true?
    • Is it 100% true and always true?
    • What is the evidence for the thought?
    • What is the evidence against the thought?
    • Has the thing I’m worried about ever happened before?
    • What actually happened?
    • How did I cope? What was the end result?

The best action you can take in this situation is to let go, rather than worrying. This, however, is easier said than done. Try speaking to yourself, while weighing the pros and cons of worrying without taking any action.

If social distancing is indeed taking a toll on your mental health, have a look at some tips shared by CAMH on preserving mental balance during this difficult time:

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