Feeling lonely or anxious during the 2nd wave? Here are ways to cope

If you’re feeling lonely or anxious during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, you are not alone. In fact, one expert says Canadians may be feeling more mental health issues the second time around.

Clinical psychologist Maneet Bhatia recently joined The Morning Show with tips on how to cope with anxiety or stress as the pandemic continues in colder months.

READ MORE: Canadians reporting higher levels of anxiety, depression amid the pandemic

He said while we had opportunities for distractions during the summer, winter can be more daunting and cause anxiety and stress.

While our first instincts may be to reject our new ongoing reality, acceptance can be the first step to a healthier mindset, he said.

“We have to learn to accept and be aware that these are normal feelings and fears. If we can accept those, it can help us shift our mind frame to be more positive,” Bhatia said.

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READ MORE: ‘It’s a great platform’ — Miss Universe Canada finalist from Lethbridge advocates for mental health awareness

According to an Ipsos survey from April, about 54 per cent of Canadians reported feeling lonely or isolated because of physical distancing restrictions.

Isolation from family and friends coupled with the frustration of missing the year’s plans or events can leave us stressing about the things we no longer have access to, he added.

Bhatia suggests we acknowledge and appreciate the connections that still exist around us, even if that means at a distance.

READ MORE: Front-line nurses suffering psychological distress, burn-out amid COVID-19

“Gratitude is very helpful for us to have closer bonds and relationships with people,” Bhatia said.

“Part of acceptance and appreciation is having gratitude for what we do have versus … being angry about what we don’t have.”

For more mental health tips to get you through the second wave, watch the full video above.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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