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Navigating Mental Health: Coping During the Pandemic

COVID-19 Lockdown Guide: How to Manage Anxiety and Isolation

Since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic, many of us, even those who have not been infected by the virus, will choose to quarantine in our homes for the upcoming weeks. Capsized travel plans, indefinite isolation, panic over scarce re-sources and information overload could be a recipe for unchecked anxiety and feelings of isola-tion. Here are a few pointers that could help you survive spiraling negative thoughts about this uncertain time. (Continue Reading from Anxiety and Depression Association of America)

 

Taking Care of Your Emotional Health

It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a disaster. Everyone reacts differently, and your own feelings will change over time. Notice and accept how you feel. Taking care of your emotional health during an emergency will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family. Self-care during an emergency will help your long-term healing.

Take the following steps to cope with a disaster:

  • Take care of your body– Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Learn more about wellness strategies.
  • Connect with others– Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships, and build a strong support system.
  • Take breaks– Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try taking in deep breaths. Try to do activities you usually enjoy.
  • Stay informed– When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or nervous. Watch, listen to, or read the news for updates from officials. Be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis, especially on social media. Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information like your local government authorities.
  • Avoid too much exposure to news– Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do enjoyable activities and return to normal life as much as possible and check for updates between breaks.
  • Seek help when needed– If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a clergy member, counselor, or doctor, or contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-985-5990. (Continue Reading from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

 

Digital Mental Health Tools

Amid a pandemic, people are understandably seeking out mental health support online. That means patients of traditional therapists are moving toward telehealth-based platforms, using services like Zoom and Skype to video chat with their providers. Services like BetterHelp and Talkspace, which have users message therapists throughout the week, are also seeing increased activity. Even mental health chatbots are observing growing traffic, almost certainly due to Covid-19. Read more...

 

Know the Virus

Remember that knowledge is power. Understanding the factors that affect a person’s immune response to COVID-19 will matter as much as, or more than, understanding the virus! Poor lung health caused by smoking, lack of adequate health care, suppressed immune systems, and/or populations particularly susceptible to infectious diseases, such as the elderly, have been particularly affected by COVID-19. (Continue Reading from The National Alliance on Mental Illness)

 

Arm yourself with knowledge. Learn more about Coronavirus Rumor Control.

 

 

A Panic Attack Can Mimic the symptoms of COVID-19. Here’s what to do about it.

A panic attack is when your fear or anxiety trigger sudden, physical symptoms with no obvious cause. The exact result can vary from person to person, but classic signs include some of the same symptoms folks have been told to look out for from COVID-19: chest pain, shortness of breath, and a feeling of feverishness or chills. If you’re having chest pain or serious trouble breathing for a sustained period, or when you already feel physically ill, you should absolutely call a doctor. But if you think your symptoms might be due to fear or anxiety, there are strategies you can use to breathe through it. (Continue Reading from Popular Science)