Managing Your Stress During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Every day, more information comes out on the Coronavirus, and this health crisis has many of us concerned. There are many excellent resources available to our communities that can help us deal with the Coronavirus crisis while safeguarding our mental health.
Below you will find tips and resources for handling your unique reaction to this Coronavirus crisis. The information presented is based on expert opinions summarized by the American Psychological Association (APA), The Center for Disease Control (CDC), Johns Hopkins University, various state psychological associations, discussions with my mental health clinician colleagues, and my almost 40 years of experience as a clinical psychologist.
– Keeping current with the Coronavirus facts is one key to good coping. We need to deal with things as they are while preparing as best we can for the future. Having the facts will help us maintain a reasonable perspective. Make the Coronavirus outbreak less stressful by sharing facts…not speculation.
The CDC has some great resources on Coronavirus:
-Take care of yourself
The experts have all mentioned that it is important to continue as many familiar routines as you can, being mindful of safety and good hygiene. Find ways to exercise your body and your mind. The CDC, Johns Hopkins, and the American Psychological Association have a list of great ideas on this topic.
The mental health resource hub: https://psychhub.com/
-Separate yourself but stay connected
Experts tell us that social distancing works. Keeping a safe distance from others is important. For those of you who have fears and anxieties about being isolated, remember that there are many ways to reach out and stay connected to friends, family and others who are important to you, like your religious leaders, doctors, etc.
The responsible use of social media, video calls and text based communication can help reduce the feeling of isolation. A good old fashioned telephone call helps too! A helpful article appears below:
The Atlantic – The Dos and Don’ts of Social Distancing
-Talking with your children
Research and personal experience tells us that children take their cues from their parents and caregivers. They are sensitive to changes in their daily routine and to the emotional atmosphere that surrounds them. Children need to know the facts, but the facts need to be presented to them in an age appropriate way. The way you handle your stress will have an impact on how they handle theirs. The American Psychological Association suggests that you may need to limit how much media they consume.
An excellent resource for talking to children of various ages appears below:
Talking With Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
Working Remotely during the Coronavirus Pandemic. A resource for mental health coping strategies regarding the stresses of working remotely appears below:
-Reach out to a mental health professional
If you are someone who has an ongoing relationship with a mental health professional, stay connected. If you are not connected to a provider, draw on experiences that helped you cope with anxiety and depression in the past. If you are feeling overwhelmed with coronavirus stress anxiety or depression, speaking with a mental health professional can help you find ways to manage your specific challenges.
If you are interested in working with Dr. Shapiro Click Here.
Additional mental health resources are found below:
American Psychological Association (Help Center): www.apa.org/helpcenter/
Alcoholics Anonymous: www.aa.org
Al-Anon Family Groups: www.al-anon.org
Anxiety and Depression Association of America: www.adaa.org
Autism Speaks: www.autismspeaks.org
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: www.chadd.org
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance DBSA: www.dbsalliance.org
National Alliance on Mental Illness: www.nami.org
National Institute of Mental Health: www.nimh.nih.gov
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: www.samhsa.gov
World Professional Association for Transgender Health: www.wpath.org