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We are all in this together

There is a ‘normal’ rhythm to the school year that has been disrupted by COVID-19. This is causing many 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 on COVID-19 and mental health.

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

Here are a few ideas that might be helpful 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. Staying social is an important part of self-care and well-being.

As we monitor the COVID-19 situation, we continue to provide plan information and resources. For more information on self-care resources or to access frequently asked questions regarding the benefits plan and COVID-related changes, visit

You can also check your benefits booklet to see which service providers are covered by your plan to support your self-care. Your benefits booklet includes benefit plan terms and coverage details, and is updated on a regular basis to reflect any changes or updates. 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 feelings of stress and anxiety continue, contact your health-care provider or local public health unit for resources and support.

This article is part of the Self-care and well-being campaign. Visit for more information on the campaign and upcoming activities.


[1] Adapted from Coping with stress and anxiety.

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