How can I Cope with Social Distancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Social distancing may make some people feel socially or culturally isolated, and possibly lead to loneliness, depression and poor health. It is important to use other non-physical ways to connect with family and friends, like sending a letter, phone calls, video calls, or social media. Exercising in or around your home or yard and sitting or working outside, close to home, can also help.


Social distancing to stay healthy and safe may prevent people from following some traditional and ceremonial practices. This may be especially relevant for First Nations and Indigenous communities, but it is very important to use social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19.


Below are some ways to cope with social distancing and the stress COVID-19 may cause:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic continuously can be upsetting.

  • Take care of your body and mind. Take deep breaths, meditate, stretch, and exercise regularly.

  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.

  • Get plenty of sleep.

  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.

  • Connect with others online or on the phone and talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

  • Make time to relax and do activities you enjoy that can be done while social distancing.

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call 911.


You can also call the First Nations Inuit Health Branch (FNHIB) Hope for Wellness Help Line toll-free at 1-855-242-3310, it is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer counselling and crisis intervention. Chat is available in the following languages: English, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut. You can also connect to the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca.

Chiefs of Ontario

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