Mental Health in a Time of Crisis

This is a crisis. For many of us, this is our first pandemic. For some of us, we recall the terror of HIV/AIDS or H1N1. While COVID19 is not as deadly and does not carry the same treatment stigma as HIV/AIDS it is still anxiety-inducing, even more so because there is so much conflicting information.

But one thing I love about humans is we have the ability to learn and listen. We have the ability to form communities of support. We have love and kindness.

So don't fall down the rabbit hole of worry, fear, and panic. Don't drown in what-ifs and hows and get caught in thinking traps.

Listen to the experts (and no, not every healthcare worker is an expert). At NP2ME we only offer data-driven and evidence-based solutions and advice. COVID-19 is a developing situation and we look forward to the updates from our community resources.

Experts to Follow:

Centers for Disease Control:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

World Health Organization:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-201

Ways to Take Care of Yourself:

1. Check the news once a day- then leave it alone.

2. Do not spiral. Take a deep breath when you feel your mind racing.

3. Consider the Youper App to practice meditation and mindfulness and check for thinking traps, anxiety, and depression.

4. Yoga is excellent, can be practiced at home and has a dual benefit of body and mind support in numerous studies. A local studio you can support is

https://www.toughloveyoga.com/tlyonline

5. Exercise can also be helpful. Customized plans available from one of our Balance is Key members here:

https://www.hallmanhealth.com/plans-pricing

6. Continue to wash your hands and sanitize your home.

7. Set boundaries such as, "I really don't want to talk about coronavirus right now." or "Can we focus on connecting virtually because I am self-isolating."

8. If you need immediate help and feel like you may harm yourself please call 1-800-273-8255 or visit

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Ways to Take Care of Your Community:

1. Support local restaurants if you can via take-out, online ordering, tipping extra and buying gift cards. If you feel comfortable dining in then maintain social distance if possible.

2. Check on your elderly and at-risk friends and neighbors- even if its through virtual means. Consider helping them set up ways to video chat with their friends and families.

3. Buy only what you need from the store.

4. Practice social distancing by maintaining a space 6-10 feet from other people in public spaces and do not attend gatherings of more than 50 people.

5. Local people may be out of work and be willing to help you watch your children- check with community resources.

Entertainment Resources

1. The Libby App connects with most library cards and allows online downloads of many E-Books:

https://www.overdrive.com/apps/libby/

2. Many museums offer virtual tours from your couch:

https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours

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