Many people are feeling emotional distress related to COVID-19, that's why it’s important to be aware of mental health and try to focus on self-care.
Here are four ways you can manage stress from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and experts at Ascension Behavioral Health.
- Set a limit on media consumption, including social media, local or national news.
- Stay active. Make sure to get enough sleep and rest. Stay hydrated and avoid excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol. Eat healthy foods when possible.
- Connect with loved ones and others who may be experiencing stress about the outbreak. Talk about your feelings and enjoy conversation unrelated to the outbreak.
- Get accurate health information from reputable sources. For health information about COVID-19, please contact the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov, The Ascension COVID-19 Online InformationCenter or your local 211 services.
It is important to take care of your mental health as much as you take care of your physical health. These are anxious times. In addition the tips above, to help cope with stress, here is a simple exercise that you can use in your home with family or friends:
Take just a moment. Focus on your breath. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. As worries come into your mind, go back to your breathing -- focusing only on your breathing. On your next exhale, exhale as if you are blowing bubbles or trying to blow up a balloon. Repeat until you feel calm.
Our Ascension Behavioral Health team is here to help. You do not have to go through this alone. If you need immediate assistance, please contact the national crisis number at 1-800-273-8255.
There are free, confidential, virtual options available. We encourage you to visit https://www.crisistextline.org/ -- you can also text them 24 hours a day at 741741 or find them on Facebook.