Hello everyone! My name is Stephanie Green, and I just recently graduated from the University of Ottawa’s Honours BSc in Psychology program. In light of all of the changes that have happened because of COVID-19, this mental health week is highly relevant for everyone. The pandemic has led to an upheaval of our daily routines, and consequently to pressures on our mental health, such as anxiety, fear, and isolation from our social network. Something important to remember in these times is that not all of us will be affected by, and cope with this stress the same way. Some things that I find help me maintain good mental health are mindfulness activities, reaching out to friends and family, staying active, and limiting my social media intake. Doing yoga regularly helps me refocus my thoughts back to the present and away from worrying about other things. Along with going for walks outside, it also helps keep me active. Also, the term “social distancing” can be misleading – I prefer the term “physical distancing” because, where we want to be safe and keep our distance from others, we still need social interactions for good mental health. So, another strategy that I use is to arrange regular phone calls and video chats with my friends and family (Netflix Party has been great!). Lastly, I try to limit the amount of time I spend on Instagram or other social media hubs because it becomes very easy to compare my coping to someone else’s, which can lead to negative thoughts. Instead, I’ve replaced some of my social media time with reading (or baking – added bonus of cookies as an end result!). Most importantly though, know that you are allowed to feel stressed, or sad, or scared, or any which way you might be feeling. These are unprecedented times and you can’t expect to deal with it perfectly because you’ve never done it before, and that’s perfectly OK! At the end of the day, just remember to be kind with yourself and just take things one day at a time.