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Don’t feel bad about feeling bad: self-care during COVID-19

Please visit our COVID-19 resource page for the most current information about Red Cross programs, support, and tips

By Farah Ng, Canadian Red Cross Digital Volunteer
Woman on laptop
When provincial officials first declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19, it was a bit of a blur for me. I had just lost my grandmother and was still working through my thoughts. I felt confused and scared. I had a dozen sleepless nights from being fixated on the news. In the weeks to come, I’d hear similar stories from friends and family.

Days later, I took the Canadian Red Cross’ Psychological First Aid Training online. As a Red Cross Digital Volunteer, this became mandatory training to help us respond to social media requests regarding COVID-19.

The training taught me how to identify the different types of stress people encounter during disasters. It dawned on me that I was feeling grief – from the loss of a loved one and the loss of life as we knew it. The training taught me that to take care of my mental health before helping others. So, I sought help from my support systems.

After more than two months in this “new normal,” I’ve adopted a healthier work-from-home routine, turned off the news and sleep like a baby on most nights. I’ve accepted that it’s a time of uncertainty and some days will be harder than others.

Photo of Psychological First Aid online course
In times like these, it’s good to regularly check-in on your own mental health as well as your friends and family. Don’t feel bad about feeling bad and don’t feel scared to share your experiences with others because it might just help them.

I recommend Psychological First Aid Training to anyone who is interested in learning more about helping themselves or others during stressful situations. The Red Cross also has a great article on taking care of mental health during COVID-19.

As always, if you or someone you know is in a crisis situation, call 911 or locate a Crisis Centre in your region. For more information on local resources, phone 211 or visit
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