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Mental Health; Second Wave; Preparing…

With fall 2020 coming, I want us to be prepared to manage our mental health.

There is likely a second wave of COVID-19 to come. Planning is important.

Some folks already have pre-existing issues such as depression, anxiety, seasonal affective disorder and the like. Others who have never had a mental health challenge may experience one for the first time.

Some of the first signs of a mental health concerns are agitation, grumpiness, feeling down, feeling euphoric, feeling overwhelmed. Those feelings can come out as argumentative behavior, excessive or disrupted sleep, withdrawal, substance use, gambling, agression, over or under eating.

If you know you are dealing with currently or are prone to such issues, speak to your doctor or treating clinician ahead of time. If using medication, make sure your prescription is up to date and accept you may require an increase in dosage to address any hump encountered.

Now is also the time to consider excersice and diet. Being in better physical shape is protective of mental health.

Given many people’s alcohol intake increases in the summer, now is also the time to review your intake and likely lower it.

While some folks rely on cannabis products to manage mental health, for others it can make mental health challenges worse. Be aware of the effects of all non-prescribed substances not only on yourself, but how loved ones may see and be affected by your usage.

As the days shorten, it can be important to intentionally expose oneself to light. If you cannot get out for a regularly walk in daylight, you may want to consider a light box.

Having wholesome distracting activities can also be an aid to improved mental health. While COVID-19 restricts what we may do in large groups, there are still things we can do individually, in small groups of cohorts within a bubble or virtually. Follow your interests.

All the above applies to children too. Having things for them to do, ways to identify feelings, permission to talk as modeled by their parents, can enable them to better manage distressing feelings too.

This fall and winter may be a doosy.I just want ro encourage us to think ahead and plan for our mental health.

Feel free to provide your comments adding to a mental health toolkit.

Please remember, what works well for one, may not be helpful to another. We each have to pick and choose accordingly and respect our differences.

Feel free to share this post if you think it may be of service to others.



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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
(905) 628-4847  


Gary Direnfeld is a social worker in private practice. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider Gary an expert on child development, parent-child relations, marital and family therapy, custody and access recommendations, social work and an expert for the purpose of giving a critique on a Section 112 (social work) report.


Call Gary for your next conference and for expert opinion on family matters. Services include counselling, mediation, assessment, assessment critiques and workshops.


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For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.


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20 Suter Crescent, Dundas, ON, Canada L9H 6R5 Tel: (905) 628-4847 Email: gary@yoursocialworker.com