The outbreak of COVID-19 can be stressful -- from changes in family and work routines to worrying about your health. In times of uncertainly, it's important to care for yourself. Vivian Pinner, MEd, a licensed mental health counselor with Baptist Behavioral Health, offers reminders to help you reduce anxiety, and keep yourself and your loved ones calm during the COVID-19 crisis.
Find new ways to connect. Connection is important, even during self-isolation. Use FaceTime, Zoom, or other forms of videoconferencing programs to connect with family and friends on a regular basis. Even though we are physically isolated, we don't have to be emotionally isolated.
Routines reduce stress. Keep daily routines as much as possible. Maintain sleep times. Enjoy your favorite drink and exercise. Allow for time to decompress. This will help little ones, also, as they will be more secure if "their world" remains consistent.
Control what you can. The only thing we have complete control over is ourselves -- our thoughts, our health and our choices. Eat healthy, exercise, wash your hands and be mindful of others.
Cut media exposure. Too much negative news can weigh on our mental health. Find a way to keep up to date, but try limiting news to once or twice daily. If alerts on your phone are coming a little too often, you may need to modify them.
Use digital resources for stress management. Skip checking the news and social media and try a stress management or meditation app (for free!).
Meditation & Stress Management:
Stress Relief Apps:
Keep things in perspective. It's time to be mindful, not panicked. A little anxiety is normal, but realize that you have been through tough times in your life and you will get through this as well. Trust yourself, your family and your loved ones. You will get through this difficult time.
Be kind to yourself and others. Small acts of kindness go a long way. A kind work or deed will spread cheer to those you love. For example, make cards with your family to mail to a nearby nursing home.
Baptist Behavioral Health has opened virtual offices to provide mental health services to you, while practicing social distancing. Schedule an appointment or view helpful mental health resources for our community by visiting www.baptistjax.com/doctors/baptist-behavioral-health. For more information, visit Baptistjax.com/Covid-19.