The world is currently changing by the moment in ways that are drastically unimaginable. The coronavirus pandemic that is spreading from nation to nation right now is not only scary due to the illness itself, but also the global fear of the unknown.
All the changes happening in society may result in additional stress or anxiety within you or somebody you may know. Mental health is something that is so easily pushed to the side during times like this, when in all actuality, it is what will help us all the most.
We have to accept that there are just some things that we can not control. One thing we can control though is how we choose to respond to situations. Learning ways to manage any additional stress and anxiety being brought on by this pandemic will not only help you, but it may also help your entire community.
Here are some tips and resources that will help all of us get through this together.
First and Foremost: FOCUS ON YOU
- Acknowledge your feelings. We are all feeling a sense of worry, which is completely normal. Whether you feel calm, panicked, angry, or sad, all feelings are valid. Allow yourself to feel those feelings, but do not let them consume you.
- Take a break from the news, social media, and anything else that may be causing you stress or anxiety. Avoiding negativity can help keep headspace more positive.
- Find a hobby or activity. One common struggle during quarantine is boredom. If you have some sort of hobby or activity that keeps you busy, time will seem to go faster. Some possible ideas could be: painting, calligraphy, baking, journaling, juggling, or even learning a new language. Be creative and do something you enjoy.
- Get fresh air. A change of scenery can help ease the mind from possibly feeling trapped by being in the same location longer than you are used to. As long as you are practicing social distancing, you could go for a walk around your neighborhood, or even just sit outside in your yard for a little while.
- Take care of your body, The CDC recommends doing things such as taking deep breaths, meditating, eating healthy, and getting plenty of sleep.
- Create a routine. Since most of us have had to change our daily routines due to the circumstances, finding a new routine is important to maintaining positive mental health. An article posted by Metro shares a bunch of daily routines people have posted on social media that can be inspiring.
Even in Isolation, We are All in This TOGETHER
- Communicate with people. Even though we are not supposed to be in physical contact, we can still check in on each other via calls, texts, video chat, emails, etc. It is very common for people to naturally withdraw from social interaction during times of stress, when realistically it is the time that they need it the most. Even if you do not personally feel affected by this, many people do and you may not even be aware, so it doesn’t hurt to communicate.
- Remain educated. Knowing the facts about COVID-19 may be helpful in reducing anxiety. A lot of the anxiety around this is what is unknown and false information that is being spread, but if we continue to stay as educated about it as possible with factual evidence it may help put our minds at ease.
- Donate to those in need. Some of us may be feeling anxious due to the coronavirus pandemic, whereas others may be anxious because we currently aren’t working and are struggling financially. Panic-buying and hoarding have not only left grocery stores barren, but also have reduced much needed supplies that frontline responders during this public health crisis are in need of right now. You can help by donating either financially or in-kind if possible to reputable organizations that are in need of support.
- Be kind to others. Kindness is something that can be more contagious than this virus we are facing. We all could use a little positivity in our lives, especially now, and we never know just how much one little act of kindness can affect somebody’s day.
It Will Get Better
This is a lot and this is something that none of us could have ever prepared for. It may be scary, intimidating, and stressful, but we have the power to come out of this stronger than ever before. Remaining positive is a lot harder than it sounds, but it will help all of us through these crazy times.
Something that is always important to remember is that it is absolutely okay to ask for help.
Here are some resources that may help cope with any stress, anxiety, depression, or even just inform you with additional information.
Useful and Reputable Information Related to COVID and Mental Health
- For California Residents: https://covid19.ca.gov/
- California Surgeon General’s Playbook: Stress Relief During COVID-19: https://covid19.ca.gov/manage-stress-for-health/#top
- Centers for Disease Control: https://2020census.gov/en/important-dates.html
- Center for Disease Control/Managing Stress: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html
- Free Mindful Resources: https://www.mindful.org/free-mindfulness-resources-for-calm-during-covid-outbreak/
- Staying Mentally Healthy: https://giveanhour.org/staying-mentally-healthy/
- Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/coronavirus-anxiety.htm
- Brown University of Public Health Mindfulness Center Free Online Sessions:
- Jud Brewer, MD and Ph.D, Director of Research at The Mindfulness Center at Brown University YouTube Channel:
National Mental Health Hotlines and Free Resources
- Crisis Text Line Hotline and Chat: https://www.crisistextline.org/
- Suicide Prevention Hotline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
- Suicide Prevention Hotline Emotional Wellness Resources: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/current-events/supporting-your-emotional-well-being-during-the-covid-19-outbreak/
- The Safe Space Hotline, Resources, and Tools: https://www.vibrant.org/safespace/?_ga=2.219197723.361037631.1584582999-82639498.1584582999
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Hotline: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
Southern California Residents: How to Find Resources in Your Community
- Los Angeles County: 211la.org
- Orange County: 211oc.org
- San Bernardino County: https://211sb.org/
- Riverside County: https://connectriverside.org/
- San Diego County: https://211sandiego.org/
- National 211: http://211.org/
Crittenton Services for Children and Families of Southern California (CSCF) is a non-profit social services agency whose mission is to heal the wounds of abuse and neglect; strengthen families; and help troubled adolescents reach their full potential. Established and incorporated in 1966 Crittenton has a highly trained workforce operating 24 hours a day / 7 days a week providing comprehensive mental health services, shelter care, and other support services to the clients in our care. We provide a full array continuum of care programming that includes short-term residential, family preservation, wraparound family services, outpatient mental health, school-linked mental health, transitional age youth programming, and foster care services with a service planning area throughout Southern California that covers Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties.