Regulation Matters 2020, Issue 3, December

Managing Stress in These Uncertain Times

In the past few months, we have all been faced with uncertainty and changes to our regular practice and work routines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have all had to adapt. In the College’s recent Pandemic Communications Survey and through the Practice Advisory Service, dietitians shared their experiences with us, describing the stress and the fatigue they felt due to various issues such as redeployment, loss of work hours, or loss of employment. No doubt the pandemic and resulting work disruptions have made us susceptible to stress, anxiety, and emotional fatigue. This is a normal human response during challenging times and does not necessarily mean we are not coping well.

But as we know, stress needs to be managed effectively so that it does not become distress or burnout. Below are just a few strategies that can help maintain personal resilience.  We hope that they will be helpful.  


We are being asked to practise physical distancing, but this does not mean social and emotional isolation. Maintain connections, both at work and in your personal lives. Reach out to people. Share resources and useful information. For dietitians who are employers – lead by example, talk about and share resources with your employees about mental health. Check in with the people you work with.


It is important to identify and focus on what we can and cannot control. We can control following standards and guidelines for safe practice, seeking help, staying connected, and being kind.


Seek support. Different people respond to situations differently. There is no right or wrong way to cope with stress and maintain wellness. Sometimes, when we feel concerned and overwhelmed, reaching out to social supports, the College Practice Advisors, and others can be helpful.

  1. Work with your employer to help improve your situation and address underlying issues. Organizations often have resources, policies, protocols, or risk-management strategies available.

  2. Reach out to supportive networks, trusted mentors, or interprofessional team members (as applicable) for guidance and support.

  3. If stress is affecting your health, seek counselling, or advice of an appropriate health professional.

  4. Please contact us for any assistance you may need at, 416-598-1725 / 1-800-668- 4990, ext. 397

College Resources

Mental Health Resources