Tips for Supporting Your Mental Health during COVID-19
COVID-19 is changing the world all around us, but here at CenterPointe, we are staying focused on helping the people we serve get better, sooner, for longer. We also recognize the impact on behavioral health employees, their families, friends and the community at large.
CenterPointe wants to help our community to manage their well-being during this difficult time. Information below comes from myStrength, a digital behavioral health app empowering people to create and maintain health and well-being. All of this information is available to you at myStrength by clicking here.
Limit your information intake.
We all want to make sure that we are up to date on the news. The situation seems to change by the day. But with so much information available, it’s easy to read too much and get overwhelmed. Limit the times of day and the total amount of time you spend reading the news or social media. Find trusted and credible sources of COVID-19 information. A few sources recommended for COVID-19 information include; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), and World Health Organization (WHO).
Stay connected with others.
Our relationships with our families, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and even online connections are critical to our mental health. Many who feel scared, angry, or sad find that they seek distance. This may only make things worse. The isolation required for managing this virus is another obstacle to staying connected. Plan to stay connected even through isolation. This may mean that you have to access your support network in new or different ways. For example, this might be text, phone, video, or messaging. Make sure you’re in regular contact. Pay attention to how much social interaction you personally need to feel ok. Don’t go below that. For some, this may be one contact a day. For most, it will be many more than that. Explore organized support networks like online groups.
Maintain your routines.
Our emotional well-being is directly tied to the predictability of our daily rhythms. A regular schedule brings a sense of calm and order. Any type of change adds stress. While the world adjusts to the challenges and restrictions of COVID-19, try to keep your routines as you are able. Get up and eat at your regular time every day. Get dressed even if you are working from home. If your everyday tasks require some changes, incorporate some new routines. For example you could do meditation, or make a phone call to a loved one.
Take care of your body.
Your ability to manage stress is directly tied to how well your body is functioning. Focus on eating, drinking water, sleeping, exercising, and keeping on top of any medical conditions. Practice stress management tools. Stress is a part of life for all of us. You can’t always control what happens to you. However you can often control how you react to it. Prioritize managing your stress. You are no help to yourself or anyone else if you allow stress to take over. You may already have a clear idea of what tools work for you. For some it is exercise, for others, meditation. It could also be hanging out with a pet, taking a nap, etc. Try those strategies and see how they work now. If you need some new ideas, myStrength’s Reducing Stress and Controlling Anxiety programs are a great start if you need some ideas. Also, Mindfulness and Meditation are great tools to help you cope with COVID-19.
Get professional support.
If you are really struggling, professional caregivers may be what you need.