How to Practice Self-Care During a Global Pandemic
The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on our lives. Natural responses to this crisis include fear, anxiety, stress, and depression. In fact, public health experts are worried about “another pandemic of depression.”
That being said, there are some things you can do to take care of yourself during this difficult time. Remember that it’s okay to not be okay and take advantage of these helpful tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other sources around the web.
Take Care of Your Body
If taking care of your mind feels hard right now, you can always start by taking care of your body. Don’t drink or use drugs more than you normally would, and if you can, you may want to take a break from substances like drugs and alcohol. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals whenever possible, and make sure you are getting enough sleep every night. Moving your body can have a host of positive effects on your mental health, so prioritize exercise, even if it’s just a walk around the block.
You can also take deep breaths, stretch, and meditate to allow fresh air and blood flow into your body.
When you are feeling low, start with a glass of water and a short walk or stretching session.
Have an Emergency Plan
Many times, anxiety comes from the unknown. If you are worried about COVID-19, know what to do if you have symptoms. The CDC has an entire page on what to do if you are sick, so you can be prepared for the worst.
You can look after your mental health in a similar way. Knowing where and how you can get treatment for mental health concerns can be a good reminder that you are not alone. Many insurers and providers are offering telehealth services, as well as apps and other resources to help you cope with fear, anxiety, and other negative feelings.
If you are having a mental health crisis, do not hesitate to call 911. You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), use Lifeline Chat, or call or text the Disaster Distress Helpline – call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
Take Breaks From the News
Staying informed can help you avoid feeling stressed or nervous, but too much exposure to the news can be a bad thing. This is especially true when you are getting your news from unreliable sources, like social media and rumor mills. Try to get your information from sources you trust and remember to take breaks.
Instead of watching, reading, or listening to the news, watch a movie or TV show, read a book, or listen to music or a podcast. You can also do other things you find enjoyable as well, like going for a walk outside, completing a creative project, or calling someone you care about.
Connect With Others
The coronavirus crisis has made it difficult to connect with others, and social distancing can make people feel isolated and lonely. Still, there are many ways you can connect with your loved ones – even without spending time together in-person. A phone call or video chat can go a long way, and many people are rediscovering the joy of sending letters. If you’re feeling down, even sending a text message to a friend may help cheer you up. In addition to talking about your concerns and what you are feeling with friends, family members, and other people you trust, you can offer your support to your loved ones.
Taking care of friends and family can help relieve stress and providing social support to those around you can strengthen your community. We are stronger together, so finding new ways to be together is more important than ever before.
Get Help If You Need It
Poor mental health is not the same as having a mental illness, and if you have a mental illness, you may need professional help. This is nothing to be ashamed of and you should not hesitate to seek treatment. If you’ve never been diagnosed with a mental illness, you can still ask for help, especially if you are exhibiting the symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or any other mental health condition.
Whether you are just being diagnosed or having a particularly difficult episode, Tapestry is here to help. We have several different treatment options and can help you get through whatever demons you are facing.
Call us at (844) 299-1343 or contact us online to get started – we are available 24 hours, 7 days a week, and we are ready to get through this hard time, together.