Coping with COVID-19


 

This is a very trying time as you focus on safeguarding your physical health and safety.  It can be easy to ignore your emotional well-being and/or maybe those of family, friends and neighbors who may be struggling with increasing feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression.  

Below are important reminders, resources to mental health professionals, coping strategies and self-care apps that we have gathered to share with you because we care!

 

Healthful Tips for You & Others

  • Accept your emotions. Anger, fear, anxiety are all normal.  Be gentle on yourself and offer patience to others. We’re in this together.

  • Limit exposure to media and remember that official communications from the CDC are the best source of up-to-date information.

  • Get moving, if at all possible.  We are a huge proponent of physical activity to stimulate the mind through the release of endorphins and other positive chemical and hormonal benefits of movement of any kind from a brisk walk to in home exercises to walking your pet. 

  • Connect with others to help improve your physical health and psychological well-being through phone, email, skype, zoom - you name it…try to stay connected with friends and loved ones.

Reach Out to Professionals When Needed

  • NAMI is the National Alliance Mental Illness and they have a lot of helpful information and great resources available that may be beneficial for you or a friend.  https://www.nami.org/

  • There’s also the Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support  at 1-800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863 to receive free and confidential support 24/7 or look into more info here https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

  • If you already have a counselor or therapist that you are familiar with (even if you haven’t seen them in a while), you can call their office and ask about “tele-medicine options” and services or virtual counseling/therapy. Many offices now offer these services that do not require you to come into the office.

Practice Positive Coping Skills 

  • Reach out for support.  There are SO many resources available.  Social distancing does not have to mean emotional distancing.  Call and/or text a supportive person to feel connected.  Or stay connected through Facebook, Instagram or other social media apps.

  • Acknowledge your emotions and find positive ways to divert your attention

  • Meditation can help create a healthy immune response and reduce anxiety, you can go to www.youtube.comand search “meditation,” or “guided meditation,” or “mindfulness” and you will surely find many free videos that you can listen to and put into practice.

  • Deep breathing…same here…you can put this in a google search or youtube search and find sources for guidance.  One easy exercise here is to inhale slowly and rhythmically for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, then slowly and rhythmically exhale for 4 seconds.  Do this a few times and it will help to slow your mind if you are experiencing racing thoughts or unrest. There are many variations, so find what works best for you.

  • Take time - rest and allow yourself permission to relax.  Worry will not change or make things different or better.  In fact, it will probably make things more stressful.  So try to allow the universe to work along with you instead of against you by being accepting and trusting that this too shall pass

  • Focus on things you can control: Like regularly washing your hands, not touching your face, staying hydrated and well-nourished

  • Create a routine and structure for your day when possible

  • Write – poetry or a story, an autobiography or you can just journal your feelings and experiences – much like a Diary

  • Listen to music or podcasts. We suggest iHeartRadio as a great source of free content.

  • Clean something / Organize something like you closet, your “junk drawer,” your linen closet, pantry, cupboards or garage

  • Read—libraries have digital books you can access online

  • Weather permitting, if you have land, go out and trim, rake, garden or just putter around

  • Play board games or online games.  If you have Amazon Alexa, there’s a new game called Survey Says.  Try this link or reach out to Amazon for more information https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0868T2562 OR if you put this in your search engine of Amazon you will find more games: “TRIVIA QUIZ GAMES”​

Here are some Apps for Self-Care

Many of these apps have waived their in-app purchase fees and have free options that can help with managing the stress of the news and media.

Stop, Breathe & Think: A short “check-in” with this app provides 1- to 5-minute mindfulness activities that can help keep you calm and create a little space between your thoughts, emotions and reactions. 

UCLA Mindful App: Offers basic meditations and wellness meditations and includes how-to videos and a built-in timer.

SAM App: Helps manage anxiety (SAM stands for self-anxiety management) by helping you be aware of your triggers and understand your thoughts and behavior better.

Calm contains audio content that strengthens mental fitness and tackles some of the biggest mental health challenges of today: stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression.

Mindshift uses cognitive behavior therapy-based tools to offer quick relief from anxiety, worry and panic. It offers coping cards, a thought journal and a check-in system to create healthy habits and set goals.

Insight Timer: The #1 Free App for Sleep, Anxiety, and Stress. The app features guided meditations, music and talks posted by contributing experts.

Headspace: Everyday Mindfulness and Meditation for Stress, Anxiety, Sleep, Focus, Fitness, and More. Find Out What Mindfulness Can Do for You In Just 3 Minutes a Day.