Self-Care Tips for Coping Amidst Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Here at Therapeutic Health Services, our doors are still open and we will continue to serve any and all in need of behavioral health services. However, many of our patients won’t be coming in as often. They will continue to get weekly check-in calls from their counselor, more details on these check-ins are HERE. We recognize people might face some mental health challenges, so here are some great self-care tips for helping each of us manage our own feelings throughout this time of physical distance.
- Take care of our physical body. Prioritize sleep, plan for healthy meals, stay hydrated, and move your body daily.
- Seek out safe and responsible ways to maintain a connection with others. Phone calls, Zoom, and FaceTime with family and friends can help sustain social needs when you’re isolating.
- Be intentional about how much time we spend watching the news. Constant exposure can be overwhelming and increase our stress.
- Stay informed through reputable sources and avoid sources of misinformation or hyperbole that only increase television or web ratings. Our staff are monitoring resources like the CDC and WHO for updates.
- Remember to acknowledge our personal feelings about the current situation. Our feelings are valid and deserve our attention. It is important that we find ways to manage these so that we are still able to function well, otherwise, we will not be able to help ourselves or others. This is a time to reach out to our personal and professional supports to process our reactions to what is happening around us.
- Take breaks. This current situation is more like a marathon than a sprint. We will burn out and be unable to sustain ourselves or our work if we push ourselves too hard early in this pandemic. We need to conserve for the weeks and months ahead.
- Infuse joy into our daily life. Make time every day for something on the lighter side, reading a good book, binge-watching a tv show, playing with our kids, challenging older relatives to a game via an app, or snuggling our pets. Plan fun or silly activities after work to take relieve pressure and give our minds rest. Allow ourselves to be present during the activity and truly enjoy whatever we choose to do.
- Focus on what we can control and practice mindfulness. When thoughts spiral about the future or anxieties about the situation, mindfulness can bring us back to the here and now. Sometimes having a plan for how we will deal with potential problems can reduce our anxiety about what might happen.
- Knowing when to ask for help and having the strength to reach out is important for all of us. Examples might be: seeking mental health support, game planning work issues with our supervisor, or getting assistance caring for kids who are home from school.
- Shifting our focus to the things in our lives that we are grateful for can turn a day completely around. The more we attend to the positives in our lives the less daunting the difficulties of our work or the fear related to this pandemic will feel.
- Separate the challenges you feel you’re facing and divide them into the things you can control and those you can’t. Take one of the things you can control and think of one little habit you can do to help you manage this challenge.
- Keep a journal, just take a few minutes a day to jot down how you’re feeling, how your day went, what challenges you’re facing and what goals you have. Trying noting three things you were most grateful for that day.
Self-Care Resources for the “New Normal”
- Despite the crisis, the doors at THS are still open and we will help anyone we can who needs behavioral health support. Visit our Get Help Page here to be connected with care and support.
- Use free meditation apps. to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and even decrease experiences of physical pain. Popular options include Headspace, Insight Timer, and Calm. Each of these have free versions, and Headspace is offering free access to their full version for all healthcare workers. Just provide some basic information including your NPI number to access the full version for free.
- Exercise for free at home. There are countless apps, websites, and YouTube channels dedicated to exercise from yoga to dance to kickboxing to strength training. Often these can be done without any equipment at all, and even services that typically charge are waiving fees. If we attended a local gym that is closed, they may be posting exercise opportunities online to keep their client base engaged.
- Access cultural resources and events online.
- Many libraries provide online access through apps such as Overdrive or Libby. You can borrow eBooks, digital comics, audiobooks, and even videos.
- Here are links to all the local library systems’ online access and eBooks:
- If you have a video game system, go get lost in some of the great stories and worlds designers have built, like these especially bundled for staying at home
- Town Hall Seattle plans to live stream some of the previously scheduled programs on it’s website
- Met Opera is offering free nightly streaming
- Many museums across America and around the world are offering virtual tours, including the National Museum of Natural History, the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, and this collection of Natural History museums around the world.
- Follow your favorite musical artists to see when they offer free online live shows, NPR has a great list here. Our check out this list from Billboard.com
- 211 remains operational and is getting up to date information about the situation and resources to support individuals and families. This is not just a resource for our clients! You can access this resource by calling 211 or going to their website 211.org.