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Feeling stressed and anxious? You are not alone

There is a ‘normal’ rhythm to the school year that has been disrupted by COVID-19. This is causing many of you to feel stressed, anxious and maybe a little uncertain about the future.

It’s important to know this is normal – and it’s OK to feel concerned about what comes next.

“A pandemic is a very stressful event for individuals and communities. It’s normal to feel some stress and anxiety. It’s also very common for people to display great resiliency during times of crisis” wrote the Canadian Mental Health Association. 

Allowing yourself to acknowledge feelings of stress and anxiety creates an opportunity for learning. It helps you to better understand the world around you and manage your approach to resiliency.

Here are a few ideas that might be helpful to you in coping with stress and anxiety1:

Find a balance that works for you

There is no perfect balance between the pressures of life and work – only what’s right for you.

Unplug from your devices

Set time aside to unplug from electronics, such as your phone, television and computer. Use this extra time to get active or try out a new hobby.

Take a deep breath

Also known as the Navy SEAL breathing technique, box breathing is helpful in reducing feelings of stress and ‘runaway’ thoughts. 


Only have a minute or two? Channel your inner Zen with these easy to follow meditation exercises.

Get a good night’s sleep

Getting enough sleep is so important in helping us to better cope with stress and anxiety. Try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.

Enjoy the outdoors

Ready for your nature dose? Try these outdoor activities that will leave you feeling more positive and happy.  


It can also be helpful to keep in touch with people who are a positive influence in your life. Staying social is an important part of your mental health and well-being.  

Check your benefits booklet  to see which service providers are covered by your plan to support your mental health. Your benefits booklet includes benefit plan terms and coverage details, and is updated on a regular basis to reflect any changes or updates to your plan. If you need more information, that is not already covered in your benefits booklet or online, contact OTIP Benefits Services at 1‑866‑783‑6847.

If you continue to struggle with feelings of stress and anxiety, contact your health-care provider or local public health unit for mental health resources and support.

This article is part of the Caring for your mental well-being campaign. Visit for more information on the campaign and upcoming activities.

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