Mental Health During COVID-19

"In January 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. WHO stated there is a high risk of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spreading to other countries around the world. In March 2020, WHO made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic. 

WHO and public health authorities around the world are acting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. However, this time of crisis is generating stress in the population" (WHO, 2020).

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In this strange and stressful time, as plans are cancelled and routines are changed, it can be challenging to maintain one's sense of mental health and wellbeing. If you are feeling stressed, anxious, or otherwise unwell at the current state of global affairs and the need for increased social distancing, you are not alone. Humans are social creatures, and these are unprecedented & frightening times. 

As an online business, Good Stuff will continue to operate as long as our shipping partners are able to continue deliveries. That said, we will not be focusing our efforts on advertising, marketing, or pushing sales at this time. We may also temporarily pause the release of new boxes until things are back to relative normal again. If this happens, we will update you regarding our plans moving forward and what this means for you as a subscriber if you have already purchased a pre-paid plan for this year.

In the meantime, should you wish to order a box for yourself or a loved one, you are welcome to do so, and we will continue to package and send out orders for as long as we are able. We still have some inventory available for our Spring Boxes and our Build Your Own Box Collection, so if you feel like a Good Stuff Box would help cheer you or a loved one up right about now, please go ahead and order; we would be happy to help spread a little joy in these dark times.

We also understand, however, that this is likely to be a challenging financial season for many of you, and we understand that our overall sales may take a hit while people focus on purchasing necessities and limiting their spending. This is okay. We understand, and we will be here with more boxes when business is back to normal again. 

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For the time being, we wanted to share with you some mental health resources & tips that we hope might help in this time of uncertainty and isolation. Please know that you are not alone, friends. We are here for you, and we want you to be well.

Crisis Text Line

If you are struggling, please know that you can simply text HOME to 686868 in Canada to talk to a trained Crisis Responder. This crisis text line is powered by Kids Help Phone, and is available for free 24/7. And if you are home from work with extra time on your hands, you could consider becoming one of their trained Crisis Responders. To find out more about how to apply, click here.

Limit Your Screen Time

The following is a direct statement from the World Health Organization:

"Minimize watching, reading or listening to news that causes you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information only from trusted sources and mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones. Seek information updates at specific times during the day, once or twice. The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried. Get the facts; not the rumours and misinformation. Gather information at regular intervals, from WHO website and local health authorities platforms, in order to help you distinguish facts from rumours. Facts can help to minimize fears".

We know that in this time of uncertainty, it can be tempting to seek out any and all updates you can find, but this steady stream of information can be stressful to our minds & bodies. Keeping yourself informed is good, but consider setting limits on your screen time and allowing yourself to be distracted with a book, a walk, or a chat with a good friend from time to time. Your body will thank you for it.

Think Communally & Stay Conected

The following is a direct statement from the World Health Organization:

"Protect yourself and be supportive to others. Assisting others in their time of need can benefit the person receiving support as well as the helper. For example, check-in by phone on neighbours or people in your community who may need some extra assistance, such as the elderly or the unwell. Working together as one community can help to create solidarity in addressing Covid-19 together".

The increased need for social distancing, quarantine, and physical isolation can be challenging, particularly if you live alone or are used to a higher level of social interaction. But remember that, just because you may need to physically distance yourself from others, does not mean that you have to be completely disconnected. Make a point to check in with friends and loved ones by phone, video call, email, text, or other means. Maybe even schedule a group chat or a digital games night. We live in an era of heightened digital connectivity; let's use it to our advantage and combat loneliness together.

Join Some Live-Streams

In this time of social distancing, it can be easy to feel disconnected or like you're missing out. Thankfully, many organizations are choosing to go online so that people can still enjoy 'coming together' online. Some of our favourites that we've seen so far include:

  • free live HD streams from the Met Opera (more info here)
  • virtual live concerts (check out this NPR article for more info)
  • free yoga classes for all levels and styles (available here)
  • online workout classes, courtesy of My Body Fitness + Nutrition (a body-inclusive and no-shame gym based out of Winnipeg, MB)
  • virtual tours of some of Canada's favourite museums (find more info & links here)
  • a live stream directory, courtesy of the folks at Social Distancing Festival
  • URGNT LIVE - an ad hoc crowd-funded livestream series of nineteen concerts in empty venues created in response to the Covid-19 outbreak

Take Time for Self-Reflection

The following is a direct statement from the World Health Organization:

"During times of stress, pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly, keep regular sleep routines and eat healthy food. Keep things in perspective. Public health agencies and experts in all countries are working on the outbreak to ensure the availability of the best care to those affected".

We're living in stressful times. If you find yourself feeling out of sorts, please know that's pretty normal. Try to be gentle with yourself. Listen to your body and what it needs. Take time to rest & nourish your body as best you can. Stress can do a lot to compromise our immune systems, so try to engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation as much as possible. Try out a new recipe. Pick up that creative project you've been meaning to work on. Maybe even try a solo meditation or join in a meditation live stream like one of the ones listed below.

Get Outside

Unless you need to or have been instructed to remain indoors for your own safety or the safety of others (always listen to medical professionals and stay updated on your municipality's guidelines regarding outdoor activity in public spaces), try to take some time each day to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. Thankfully, the weather seems to be warming up across much of the country, so it's a great time to get out for extended walks & wanders. Getting outside can help to break up the day, and it has also been shown to boost energy and immune function, as well as help improve mental health. So, as much as you are able, lace up your boots and get out to spend a bit of time in nature. It'll do you some good. We promise.

Look for the Happy News Stories

From the stories of recovery, to the random acts of kindness, to the cutest penguin videos you ever did see (look how happy they are to be exploring!), be sure to take some time to look for the positive news stories amidst all the scary ones. While you're at it, why not take some time to rewatch some silly YouTube videos, or your favourite sitcom re-runs? We could all use a little levity in our lives right about now.

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This strange and scary period won't last forever. Our health and government officials are doing everything they can to limit the spread and keep us, as a society, well. We can and will get through this, friends. Take care of yourselves.

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If you have any suggestions for resources that you think we should add to our list, please post them in a comment below, or send us an email so we can take a look.

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