Self-care tips during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19: Reduce Virus Spread

Mental health, wellness and addictions support

If this is an emergency, if you or someone you know is in immediate danger, or if you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital or emergency department.
If you are currently receiving mental health and addictions services and support, please contact your current service provider. Many providers are modifying their services to offer virtual care, meeting clients by phone or secure video-conferencing.

If you aren’t currently receiving services and would like support for your wellbeing, there are services and information you can access online or by phone.

You can find information about programs that may be right for you based on your mental health and addictions needs, and the type of support that you prefer. You can:

Find public mental health or addiction programs

For help connecting with the right public mental health and addictions program or support across Ontario, contact ConnexOntario – available 24/7:

Connect with peers for mental health support

Big White Wall is an anonymous online community where members can support each other 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You can:

  • complete a self-assessment
  • read recommended resources
  • explore a wide range of self-guided courses at your own pace
  • use creative tools to help express how you’re feeling

This resource is available in English only.

Access self-led telephone or online therapy for stress, anxiety and depression

BounceBack is a free skill-building program that adults and youth 15+ can access over the phone. With the guidance of a coach, you’ll work through a series of workbooks at your own schedule, to gain practical skills to better manage low mood, anxiety, worry or stress. You’ll learn things like how to improve your mood by changing the way you think or respond to things.

You can find:

  • workbooks and coaching available for youths and adults (15 and older) in English and French. For those 19 and older, content is also available in Arabic, Farsi, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.
  • videos with helpful tips, available in English, French, Arabic, Farsi, Cantonese, Mandarin and Punjabi

Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT)

Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) is a practical, short-term program delivered online. It helps people develop skills and strategies to address symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression. It can also help people cope with situations related to COVID-19, such as isolation, pressure caring for family and community members, information overload and stress.

If iCBT is right for you, you will be supported by a therapist online to:

  • work through modules
  • complete readings and exercises
  • learn coping and resilience skills

To learn more and get services, contact either:

Find mental health resources for children and youth

There are mental health services for children and youth under 18 across Ontario.

Talk to or text a counselor

For support at any time of day, children and youth can call 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868 to contact Kids Help Phone. Kids Help Phone can also help you find public resources, services and support for children and youth based on your location.

Talk or text mental health support for post-secondary students

If you are a post-secondary student, you can use Good2Talk, a 24/7 service that offers confidential support through phone and text. Call 1-866-925-5454 or text GOOD2TALKON to 686868.

Find mental health support for Indigenous people

Indigenous peoples can contact Hope for Wellness for immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention across Canada. To get help:

Services are available in some Indigenous languages.

Indigenous women

Indigenous women can contact Talk 4 Healing for culturally appropriate and confidential support and resources seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Services are available in 14 languages. To get help:

This resource is available in English only.

Self-care tips during the COVID-19 pandemic from the Mayo Clinic

Here are a few tips you can use to take care of yourself:
Physical health:

§  Fuel your body by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water.

§  Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

§  Exercise every day.

§  Take deep breaths and stretch often.

§  Avoid risky or destructive behaviors, such as abusing alcohol or drugs, excessive gambling or ignoring public health recommendations.

§  Spend time outside, such as going for a walk in the park, but follow social distancing guidelines.

Mental health:

§  Set and maintain a routine at home.

§  Focus on things you can control.

§  Use technology to maintain social connections with your loved ones. Consider a regular check-in schedule to give you something to look forward to.

§  Focus your thoughts on the present and things to be grateful for today.

§  Listen to music or read books.

§  Consume reliable news sources that report facts, and avoid media that sensationalizes emotions. Limit your exposure or take a break from news and social media if you find that it makes you anxious.

§  Lean on your personal beliefs and faith for support.

§  Look for ways to help your community, such as blood donations, checking on older people in your neighborhood, or donating supplies or money to local organizations.

§  Acknowledge and appreciate what others are doing to help you and your community.

Symptoms to watch for:
If any of the these things become persistent or interfere with daily functioning and are outside the norm for the COVID-19 pandemic, contact your health provider for help and guidance:

§  Trouble focusing on daily activities

§  Anxiety that turns into feelings of being out of control

§  Strong feelings that interfere with daily activities

§  Having emotions that become difficult to manage

§  Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness


Optum – public toll-free help line number, (866) 342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as necessary. This service is free of charge and open to anyone.

Several coping and disaster tools and resources available

Awakened Breathwork – ONLINE!
Classes are NOW ONLINE on Wednesdays at 6pm PST so you can reap the benefits from the comfort of your home.

Great Portal site to wellness & mental health resources

Yale class on how to be happy<

Lots of Wellness resources here for navigating uncharted times

Sound healer Roxie Sarhangi is offering sound baths over Instagram. Her next scheduled event is March 18 at 7 p.m. Follow her on Instagram @roxiesoundhealing.

Meditation app “Calm” is offering several free resources here, including sleep meditations, sleep stories, video tutorials on stretching, meditations for kids, and more.


UltraCore Power is proud to announce its 100 % FREE XR30 AT-HOME – Fitness Program

Yoga app Down Dog’s Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, and 7 Minute classes will be free until May 1.

Dancer Kelleia Sheerin will host her “Kelleia & the Jazz” dance classes live on Instagram. The next one is on Thursday, March 19 at 12:30 p.m. PST. Find her on Instagram @kelleiaandthejazz.

305 Fitness: This all-levels dance cardio fitness class feels like an ‘80s-style aerobic workout. Head over to YouTube for free live and recorded classes with themes like throwback Thursday and country hoedown.

Edge Performing Arts Center: The Hollywood studio is one of L.A.’s premiere places to train for a dance career in film, television and stage. Head to Instagram to find free class videos in jazz, ballet barre and contemporary.

Dancing Alone Together is an online platform and resource for livestreamed classes, performance footage and dance projects.

The dance community has also compiled class lists: