News of Canada entering the fourth wave of the pandemic is probably not what you wanted to hear. The more contagious Delta variant is causing a rise in cases in many provinces. Especially among those who are not fully vaccinated.

While the pandemic first took many of us by surprise, we know much better what to expect by now. All this pandemic ‘experience’ makes it easier to adapt to changes. So, you likely already have a plan in place. 

It may be reassuring to remember some of the hard-won lessons of the past year. And to focus on things you can continue to do to keep yourself, your family and community members safe. 

Here are some things you can do to help cope with the latest wave of COVID-19:

  1. Acknowledge that pandemic fatigue is real 
  2. Get your vaccine(s)
  3. Assess your stay-at-home workspace and get moving 
  4. Take advantage of nice weather and spend time outdoors 
  5. Take care of yourself 
  6. Make the most of your employee benefits 

1. Acknowledge that pandemic fatigue is real

Over a year into the pandemic, you may be tired of social distancing, restrictions and working from home. If you’re feeling unusually tired, anxious, fearful or rundown, you’re not alone. 

A Sun Life survey found that 60% of Canadians are experiencing mental health issues. Over half of people who are struggling report not having sought medical support. If you are experiencing mental health concerns like anxiety, stress or depression, help is available. 

  • Need help finding a mental health professional near you? Lumino Health’s Provider Search tool puts top-rated health-care providers at your fingertips.

Your actions can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep your family safe. Until health experts say otherwise, continue to: 

  • Wear a mask when you’re in indoor public spaces and when you can’t maintain a 2 meter/6 foot distance from others;
  • Maintain social distancing. Health Canada still encourages Canadians to minimize close contact with others.

2. Get your vaccine(s) 

If you haven’t already, getting your COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to help avoid a fifth wave of the pandemic. Plus, some provinces are requiring proof of vaccines to access events and other places, in some cases. Thankfully vaccination campaigns are underway, offering hope for ending or curbing the pandemic. 

Vaccination rollout plans vary by province or territory. You can find out if you’re eligible for vaccination on the Government of Canada’s website. Remember, vaccines approved in Canada have a thorough vetting process by health experts and are safe. 

3. Assess your stay-at-home workspace and get moving

If you’ve been working from home for over a year, chances are you have a workspace set up by now. But maybe it’s time to do an ergonomic assessment? We have some suggestions for how to make sure you have a comfortable workspace.

Or, if you haven’t already, set up a dedicated workspace for remote work. That way, it’s easier to leave the “office” at the end of the day. And it is likely easier to keep your focus if you aren’t alone during work hours. 

Remember to make time for movement in your daily schedule. Change your posture occasionally. Get up to stretch between meetings. And when you can, go for a walk over lunch or take an online fitness class before starting the day. 

4. Take advantage of nice weather and spend time outdoors

As we head into fall (and winter shortly behind), getting outside now could do wonders for your mood. Why not enjoy a socially-distanced walk to catch up with a friend? Or, where the rules allow, gather at the park for a picnic? 

Rules vary per region, so you’ll want to check to see if gatherings are allowed in your area. Continue to wear a mask in busier outdoor areas like trails, campgrounds, playgrounds and dog parks. And avoid crowded areas where distancing isn’t possible. 

5. Take care of yourself

We don’t yet know how lockdowns or restrictions will look during the fourth wave – if any. But you may still be spending time at home. Pick a project to stay productive, and pick up the supplies you need to carry it out. Don’t feel like you need to keep up with popular fads like baking bread or learning a new language, unless you want to. If you can, continue practicing at least some of the activities you love from life before COVID-19. 

6. Make the most of your employee benefits

COVID-19 shaped our new take on work, and employers want to continue to support their workforce through it all. Your employer should be well-versed in the need for flexibility in your work arrangements by now. 

Look into other employee benefits that can support your continued well-being, as well. Do your benefits include an Employee Assistance Program? This can give you access to mental health-care services, like e-therapy or virtual counselling.

Plus, financial health benefits, like access to an advisor, can help you manage your money and stick to your financial goals throughout the pandemic.

Remember: while the fourth wave may feel discouraging, you’ve weathered more than a year of pandemic already. Take heart that better days are ahead.

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This article is meant to provide general information only. It’s not professional medical advice, or a substitute for that advice.