Mental Health Tips While Social Distancing
The outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been stressful for us all. Fear and anxious feelings about a disease can be overwhelming, cause feelings of hopelessness as well as other strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with this stress gives you, the people you care about, and the people in your community an opportunity to grow stronger.
Here are a few tips from Texas Care you may find useful:
Find News From Trusted Sources
Seek out accurate, trusted sources for health information and Coronavirus coverage and stick to them. There's a lot of sensationalist "click bait" coverage out there that is extremely inaccurate. Bad information will only fuel anxiety.
Limit your social media time
It's a great time to clean out your Facebook list. Find us at Facebook.com/TexasCareOnline if you want up to date, accurate information. If you have individuals that make it a practice posting alarmist statements and inaccurate reporting, it may be time to mute them all together. This will only increase your anxiety as you scroll.
But still Stay Connected
That new iPhone is about to become even more useful. Social media is not the only, or even best way, to stay connected with the people we care about. Use this time to get in contact with people you know and love as well as those you may haven't spoken to in awhile. You probably have more free time now than you have ever had. Grow that sense of togetherness. The additional time at home can bring tension but it can also be an ideal opportunity to reconnect and strengthen relationships within the family.
Let go of Relationships That Aren't the Best for You
This may seem like the time to hoard everything (toilet paper?). Every relationship you have isn't best for you or anyone involved. It doesn't mean someone is "bad', it just may be time to move on to things that offer a better fit. COVID-19 has surely made some question their mortality. This may not be the best time to devote limited emotional resources that could be best served in other areas (or relationships).
Keep an Eye on Your Anxiety
Many of the coping skills that help manage anxiety effectively aren't as readily available while social distancing. At Texas Care, we feel important to remember the origins of anxiety and become educated (since you have time).
- Anxiety often occurs because the brain is unable to properly produce and regulate two important neurotransmitters called GABA and Serotonin.
- Basically, stress hormone levels become elevated and the brain is unable to produce the proper amounts of GABA and Serotonin which tell the brain to “SLOW DOWN”.
- This can be caused by poor diet, genetics, excess stress, or a number of hard to identify causes.
- Unfortunately, anxiety gets worse over time as these chemicals become depleted further. Whatever the cause, the important thing is to provide the brain with what it needs to defend itself against anxiety and remain happy and calm.
- Remember, trying to control "everything" only increases these feelings. Right now may not be the best time to make this a practice.
And the W.H.O. (WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION) Speaks up...
For health-care workers
W.H.O. (World Health Organization) recommends managing job-related stress through positive coping methods such as physical activity and staying connected with friends and family. However, the guide said that some health workers may experience avoidance by their loved ones or community because of stigma or fear. In this scenario, the organization advised workers to maintain contact with friends and family through digital methods and to rely on work colleagues for social support.
WHO said that during times of stress and crisis, children are more likely to seek attachment and be demanding on their parents. The mental health guide advised speaking to children about the virus in an age-appropriate manner and keeping them close to their family. It recommended allowing children to express emotions through creative activities such as playing and drawing. Families should stick to their daily routines as much as possible, especially when in confinement, according to WHO
Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
- Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
- Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
- Family history of mental health problems
If you or someone you love is struggling with social or physical distancing or any other issue, please give us a call at 1-888-98-TODAY. Feel free to fill out the new contact form listed under the Contact Us tab at the top of the Texas Care website for more information on how we can better serve you.