COVID-19: Anxiety for Caregivers

Anxiety Affects Everyone

In a short time, COVID-19 has become an inescapable part of our lives which can be overwhelming and stressful. It’s affecting everyone around us, and in many ways.

 

  • 24/7 media coverage
  • Complete disruption in our everyday lives
  • The tragic consequences of the disease
  • Social isolation from those close to us

 

For healthcare workers, the stress and feelings of anxiety are often greater as you worry about the health and safety of those in your care, your family, and yourself. To help combat this we have information and resources compiled just for you.

For healthcare workers, the stress and feelings of anxiety are often greater as you worry about the health and safety of those in your care, your family, and yourself.

Speaking

A Normal Response

To start, it’s important to recognize that feeling stressed and anxious is a normal response, and one that is expected during times like this. However, too much anxiety can contribute negatively to your health and well-being. Here to Help has an infosheet with actions you can take to ease the uncertainty.

Cog

You’re Not Alone

Everyone reacts to anxiety differently, so it is important to take time to recognize what you are going through and understand your own emotions. As difficult as it can be, remember to be kind to yourself. Remember, you are not alone with your feelings. Before you can take care of others, be sure to take care of yourself. Try this article from Psychology Today for practices to maintain your emotional health.

Nature

Unplug Sometimes

It can help to unplug from social media and the news. While it is important to stay up-to-date using reliable sources, the constant stream of discussion around COVID-19 can be too much at times. SafeCare BC suggests this as well as other anxiety coping strategies.

Location

Distract Yourself

It’s ok to distract yourself and think of something else. Try meditating or going for a walk (inside or outside) – something that will allow you to relax.

Communication

It’s Okay to Ask for Help

Even caregivers still need the help of others. This can be difficult when we need to be socially distant or isolated, but using technology such as video messaging can help connect us. The way we connect with family and friends may have to change, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop seeing them all together. Social interactions can be uplifting in these uncertain times. If you need professional help, doctors and mental health professionals care also there to help you make it through. This article from The Conversation has more information on the best way to do that.

Telephone

Phone Line for Healthcare Workers

The Mobile Response Team is available to support the mental well-being and psychological safety of frontline healthcare workers who are experiencing distress and mental health concerns in response to COVID-19. Call: 1-888-686-3022 or Email: MRT@phsa.ca

Web Resources

For more information, we have compiled a list of resources to help you cope up with anxiety during these difficult days.

6 Tips to Respond to Employee Anxiety About COVID-19

Meant for employers and managers, this webpage created by the Canadian Mental Health Association contains tips for responding to the feeling of anxiety staff may be having.

7 Science-based Strategies to Cope with Coronavirus Anxiety

In this article hosted on The Conversation, psychologist Jelena Kecmanovic provides science-based methods on dealing with anxiety caused by COVID-19.

How to Stay Psychologically Healthy During the Coronavirus Outbreak

This article by Psychology Today provides proven techniques for managing stress and anxiety over the COVID-19 outbreak.

Tips for Supporting Your Mental Health Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

Written by BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, this article contains a list of seven tips for maintaining a positive well-being during these difficult times.

COVID-19 Anxiety Coping Strategies

Provided by SafeCare BC, this graphic contains a quick guide that can easily be referenced for strategies to cope with the anxiety that may arise from COVID-19.

COVID-19 and Anxiety

This article written by the Canadian Mental Health Association’s BC Division is a reminder that it is normal to have feelings of anxiety in the situation caused by COVID-19. Rather than let it control your life, the article explains how you can take action to take care of your life.

Phone Line for Healthcare Workers

The Mobile Response Team is available to support the mental well-being and psychological safety of frontline healthcare workers who are experiencing distress and mental health concerns in response to COVID-19. Call: 1-888-686-3022 or Email: MRT@phsa.ca

Coping with COVID-19

Anxiety Canada knows you are not the only one struggling with anxiety during these difficult times. These series of town hall videos provide Canadians with effective strategies on dealing with the anxiety caused by COVID-19.

Looking For More?

Free resources to help with your anxiety available from your phone

Dr. Yuet Ting Ma, Pharm.D, RPh

“As a healthcare provider working in mental health and addictions, I believe Care to Speak is a great resource available to health care and social support workers to seek support from their peers. This pandemic has taken a massive toll on everyone’s mental health, especially for healthcare providers. I am truly honoured to participate in this program as a volunteer and provide support to others in their mental health journey.”

Wellness Program Coordinator

“I was able to reach out to help support myself when everything was so uncertain in the world. I appreciate what this service is doing in the community as it’s difficult to reach out when you work in a profession supporting others.”

Rehabilitation Specialist

“My experiences as a Care to Speak Peer Support Worker have been positive in that, I hope that it’s a resource that health care workers don’t need to access, but our reality is that this support is required. I’m grateful to be able to provide that opportunity to listen to my peers when they need it. I feel that a lot of the difficulties for healthcare workers are that sometimes friends and family members don’t quite understand the challenges they face, or they aren’t able to discuss their stressors due to privacy and confidentiality policies. Service users can reach out and know that the person on the other end is not going to judge them or try to give them advice. Regardless of why they’ve reached out, there’s a level of mutual understanding and respect and I think that’s what’s great about the Care to Speak Peer Support program.”