So much of our life has changed over the last few months due to COVID-19. You may have noticed that these life changes (e.g., physical distancing, home-schooling children, working from home), and just living through a pandemic are also impacting your mental health. Here are a few strategies to help you deal with the stress. It is important to note that these strategies are general recommendations. If you feel that they are not enough to manage your symptoms and do not improve your mood, we want to empower you to seek treatment from a licensed mental health provider.
Check reliable news sources and keep yourself informed of the facts
Disconnect from social media and news outlets to decrease your COVID-19 related stress and anxiety
Practice healthy sleeping habits and aim for the recommended hours of sleep
Wash your hands
Identify a schedule for you and your family (without overwhelming yourself) to help differentiate your weekday and weekend
If you have a skill that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a new class or training online
By now we have all heard the term social distancing, but it is especially important for us to maintain healthy social connections during these times. So, instead of calling it social distancing, let’s call it physically distancing.
Stay home and practice recommended guidelines related to physical distancing
If you are an essential worker, identify supports, both within your job and at home, to help manage your increased stress
Identify activities that you enjoy and are still able to engage in and do them!
Modify the things you love to do within the current safety guidelines. For example, attend church virtually or host a “night in” with friends via video chats.
To make it really fun, even get dressed as if you were attending in person.
Coping Strategies and Mental Health
Pause, take a break, meditate, and focus on things that are within your control in the present moment
Write in your journal
Write a list of things that are within your control
Practice positive affirmations
Write positive coping statements
Monitor your feelings and responses to these current and ongoing stressors and communicate your needs to others.
Seek mental health support if needed. Many mental health providers are still providing services through telemental health (video appointments).