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Your 8-Step Pandemic Mental Health Recovery Plan

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We’ve all been ready to return to our new normal for some time now, though our restrictions continue and regulations change across Canada day by day. No one envisioned it would take this long to get back to our lives. We know the impact COVID-19 has had on our mental health has been significant and recovery doesn’t happen overnight.

Some of us have dealt with trauma and grief, while almost all of us have felt some level of isolation. Most of us have experienced higher levels of stress and anxiety than ever before, and many have found themselves lonely, sad, stressed and anxious. Over the next few months, we’ll start to feel new emotions as vaccines roll out and our situation starts to improve. Recovering from the pandemic’s impact on our mental health will take time though.  

To prepare us all for the day we return to normalcy, we've built this 8-step Pandemic Mental Health Recovery Plan to guide you through the journey to recovery. We’ve taken the best of our professionally-created resources across our Therapist Guided Programs, tools and expert advice to create this space to help you face what’s to come and give you some ideas on what you can do today to make a change, invest in yourself and build a stronger mind.

Just like our therapy programs, you can complete your 8-step journey at your own pace. 

ACCESS THE RESOURCE

Click here to access the resource and follow the steps below to progress towards recovery: 

  1. ALIGN YOUR COMPASS
    After a year of so much uncertainty and many changed plans, setting your compass in the right direction and focusing less on detailed planning will help alleviate frustration. This means, we set new goals but also stay flexible in how we achieve these goals.

  2. ACCEPT THE LOSS
    Feeling down or stuck is natural when we experience various forms of loss. When you think about all the loss we’ve experienced this year and when listening to all the stories around loss, we grieve. Grief is the normal reaction to loss. But how do we move forward when we continue to lose moments, time and people in our lives? The first step is acceptance.

  3. EDUCATE YOURSELF
    Most of us have experienced higher levels of stress than ever before. Many don’t understand whether the levels of stress experienced are normal and we question whether all stress is bad or if we should learn to live with it. Educating yourself about various mental health topics like stress and burnout will help you approach your life with a clear mind.

  4. PRIORITIZE SELF-CARE
    One of the most important elements of fostering positive mental health is truly taking care of yourself. Putting yourself first will mean better mental health and improved mood. This will give you the capacity to handle everyday stressors with more ease and take care of the ones around you. 
  1. RE-DISCOVERY
    With so many different changes, it can be difficult to know what to focus on in the short term and the long term. Consider the pandemic as an opportunity to re-discover who you are and what values are true to you. Re-visit your health, relationship, career and leisure values for a chance to re-connect with yourself and discover who you want to be after the pandemic ends. 
  1. TAKE ACTION
    When you’re feeling down, with no energy to make any changes in your life, the best thing to do is to take action. We call this Behavioural Activation which involves getting through your psychological barriers to do what you need to do to improve your mental health. Here’s what you need to know to add this concept to your toolkit. 
  1. USE PEER SUPPORT
    Get past the stigma of reaching out for help when you’re not at your best. Your network of peers can be most valuable in helping you get through tough times. Consider who you have in your life and who can offer you emotional support, instrumental support, informational support and companionship support. Work together, lean on each other and don’t be embarrassed to say you’re not okay. Everyone struggles and when you use therapy and your friends together, it’s a lot easier to get through hard times. 
  1. COMMIT TO MAINTENANCE
    Your self-improvement journey never ends. There will always be something new to learn, new tips and tricks to incorporate into your life and fresh perspectives to see. MindBeacon’s Therapist Guided Programs and Live Therapy sessions are just one part of the overall solution. MindBeacon provides professional mental health support but the work you do in between your therapy to maintain your mental health is up to you.

When you're ready to start therapy as we help you build a resilient mind and recover from the pandemic, visit us here to complete your assessment. 

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Stronger Minds content is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to establish a standard of care with a reader, you should always seek the advice of your mental health professional, physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. If you think you may have a medical or mental health emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency department, or call emergency services immediately. You should never disregard or delay seeking medical advice relating to treatment or standard of care because of information contained herein. Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information herein should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.