Your Health Matters: Get Great eBooks from TPL and Toronto Public Health to Help Cope with the COVID-19 Crisis
Has the COVID-19 crisis left you feeling pressured to maintain your and your family’s health, happiness and development? You are far from alone. Self isolation has torn us away from many of our routines and supports. It has forced us to take on roles that we previously depended on others to provide. Kids at home need help with their development that they would otherwise be getting from teachers and guidance counselors. Preparing balanced, healthy meals has become a challenge with reduced access to groceries, restaurants and food delivery services. And without the regular contact with friends, family, classmates and colleagues, many of us have found the current crisis mentally and emotionally straining.
Fortunately Toronto Public Library and Toronto Public Health can help.
The Library and Toronto Public Health have a long history of working together to support Torontonians through good times and bad. Our partnership, called Your Health Matters is designed to get accurate, appropriate and up to date health information out to residents of Toronto through programs, resources and collections.
One of the most valuable resources that Your Health Matters provides are lists of titles that have been carefully chosen by Toronto Public Health experts on a range of common topics and concerns. These books are chosen for their relevance and accessibility for everyone – these aren’t books you need a medical degree to read; they are designed to make sure that everyone gets good quality information that is easy to understand and apply to their lives. And the great news is, many of these books are still available in eBook form, even though library branches are closed.
For those of us who have found our sleep impacted by the current health crisis, Robert S. Rosenberg’s The Doctors Guide to Sleep Solutions for Stress and Anxiety might be an excellent resource. This book, written by a leading expert on sleep disorders, offers “targeted solutions to help you identify the stressors that deter sleep and reduce stress and anxiety”.
Depression can be a result of COVID-19, uncertainty, and self isolation. For those who have a history of depression, staying home and losing access to support networks can be additionally challenging. The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Depression by Kirk Strosahl and Patricia Robinson uses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) “includes updated research on self-compassion, mindfulness, and neuroscience to help you live a more meaningful life”.
The Mindful Way Workbook by John D. Teasdale is another excellent resource for coping with anxiety and depression. Using the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) modality, this book guides readers through an 8-week program to “overcome depression, anxiety, and stress--by simply learning new ways to respond to your own thoughts and feelings”.
Parenting in the time of COVID-19 is particularly stressful for many. Fortunately the Your Health Matters collection contains many excellent resources for caregivers struggling to find ways to keep their kids happy and healthy. For those looking after younger children, How to Talk so Little Kids will Listen by Joanna Faber is a great resource to avoid some of the stresses created by this strange new environment.
Similarly, Promoting Young Children’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing by Sonia Mainstone-Cotton can help caregivers support children who may also be dealing with a great deal of stress and anxiety as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. This book offers “practical suggestions for games, activities and exercises designed to promote emotional wellbeing in young children”, identified as a “critical factor in their future development”.
For teenagers, the huge change in routine, separation from friends and uncertainty about the future can be incredibly difficult to cope with. Ben Sedley’s Stuff that Sucks can help teens deal with the negative thoughts and emotions that arise from this challenging time and find ways to constructively validate their experiences.
These are just a few of the excellent titles recommended by Toronto Public Health and available at Toronto Public Library. And to make it easier than ever to access these books, you don’t even need to have made a library card before branches closed to the public. You can now make a temporary digital card to access these books on Overdrive, as long as you are over 13 years of age and have a cellphone with a Toronto area code that can receive texts!
This is a challenging time for everyone. But hopefully, with some of these great resources, the library and Toronto Public Health can make things a little bit more manageable for you and your family.
For complete lists of ebooks available through the Your Health Matters collection, visit tpl.ca/yourhealthmatters.
Toronto Public Health also offers a live eChat service for health information and questions. This free, confidential and anonymous service connects Torontonians to Toronto Public Health nurses. This service is for non-emergency, non-COVID-19 related information. Please note that at this time they are experiencing a high volume of customers.