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Feeling down? Here’s some mental health guidance from the professionals

Advice for maintaining mental health during the COVID-19 crisis

thinking brain

During these difficult times, it can be hard to maintain mental health. Going for a run is a good place to start, but checking in with yourself is also important. The Canadian Sport Institute released a mental health checklist for their athletes, but the advice isn’t just applicable to them, it’s applicable to all people.

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Control the controllables

There’s so much that can’t be controlled about the current situation, but a few key things can be. The CSI recommends runners write down a list of unknowns and separate them into things they can control and things they can’t. Runners can’t control their race schedule, but they can control how they train and treat their bodies through this time–and that counts for something.

Be mindful of the information that you consume

The CSI recommends that runners choose their news sources wisely, suggesting Canada’s Sport Medicine advisory committee as a good option. They send advisory updates every 48 hours at 4 p.m. ET. They’re a good resource providing accurate information and recommendations pertaining to health threats, travel advisories and preventative actions. They also recommend people limit COVID-19 news to 30 minutes a day.

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Thinking yourself to faster times.

Feel your feelings

The CSI recommends runners allow their anxious thoughts, feelings and physical sensations to wash over them, and accept them before moving on.

“Resist the urge to escape or calm your fears by obsessively reading virus updates,” says the CSI.

If you’ve just had strong feels about your circumstance, try taking a walk or removing yourself from the circumstance that made you anxious in the first place.

Reframe change as opportunity

Do your best to find a small silver lining, no matter how small. Looking for the positives will make a difference over time.

Seek professional support when needed

Lots of therapists and other medical professionals are seeing clients via Skype, FaceTime or by telephone. If you think you’re in need of an appointment, reach out.

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