Protecting Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Outbreak
I came across some helpful ideas of ways we can take care of our mental health during this coronavirus experience. In times of fear and anxiety it can be important to know how to prioritize self-care and our mental health.
These are some of the ideas from the American Foundation for Suicide prevention:
Separate what is in your control from what is not.
Do what helps you feel a sense of safety
Get outside in nature–even if you are avoiding crowds.
Challenge yourself to stay in the present.
Stay connected and reach out if you need more support.
Here are some ideas from a facebook post by Jen Lemen.
Things you could do in the time of corona virus:
1. Go next door and say, If you need anything, I'm here, just call.
2. Put your feet on the earth and breathe one really deep breath.
3. (If you an in a position to do so) Tip outrageously if you're out and about. Say this is for the tips I know you're missing right now.
4. Ask to speak to the owner of any local shop and say, How is it going? And then listen.
5. Call your hairdresser if you're not coming in like usual. Ask how they are doing. Send your tip or the cost of your haircut via Venmo.
6. Smile at babies. They must be wondering about all the worried faces.
7. Get enough sleep.
8. Bathe your body like it's a temple. Put on lotion like it's a temple.
9. Call an old person.
10. Check on a friend with cancer. Listen as long as they'll talk.
11. Remember this new careful about germs reality is a familiar daily nightmare for so many people.
12. Reach out to friends of Asian descent. Stigma and racism and lashing out is up for our friends from these communities. Say, I appreciate you and I'm here if you need anything.
13. Stay home. Meditate. Breathe deep deep deep. Exhale.
14. Organize the cabinets. Realize there's more here than you realized.
15. Pick three people to check in with every day.
16. Share. Whatever you have, if you have more than one of anything, tell yourself, I have this so I can share.
17. Write a letter. We won't always be here. Write to whomever you think of when you read that. Tell them how you feel in longhand then send it.
18. Say metta when you wash your hands. Look in the mirror and say it again for the whole world. "May we be well, happy and peaceful. May no harm come to us, may no problem come to us, may we always meet with success. May we also have patience, courage, understanding and determination to meet and overcome the inevitable difficulties, problems and failures in life."
19. Send the money directly to any local service provider whose services you might skip due to a quarantine. Say, I know you're taking a hit with this thing. Thank you for all that you do.
20. Say you're sorry. For anytime you were annoyed with someone with a chronic illness. For anytime you thought they were making up. Say I didn't understand before, and I'm so so sorry it's been like this for you for so long without my understanding or support.
21. Make room for joy. Life is going to slow down for a minute. There will be time for things you never have time for and a stillness that might feel new. Ask yourself what isn't as necessary as you might have thought.
23. Go outside. Tell the earth hi. Ask if the earth has any requests of you. Introduce yourself if you've never done this before.
24. Burn your worries in a pyrex pan. Write them on little strips of paper. Write them and say I know I'm not the only one. I know so many feel this too.
25. Start the thing you always wanted to start.
We did a Symmetry Solution Strategies episode on the topic of taking care of our mental health during this time. You can find it on Symmetry Solutions' Facebook page.
Jennifer White is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and has been employed professionally in the mental health field since 2005. Jennifer specializes in helping people with depression, anxiety, sexuality concerns, trauma, and faith transitions/journeys. She offers coaching/consultation and therapy services to individuals, couples and families. Jennifer received a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science at Utah Valley University and a Masters Degree in Social Work at Brigham Young University.