Recommendations for promoting your emotional wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Get the news you need to make choices for yourself and your family and to stay generally aware of recommendations. Beyond that, make efforts to put boundaries around the amount of time you read or watch news about the pandemic. Be mindful of the impact news programming may have on others in your home, including your partner or children.
Social distancing may be necessary:
If you live alone, stay connected with friends and family through phone calls and face to face platforms such as Facetime.
If you live with others, be mindful that extensive time in the house together may lead to or exacerbate existing frustrations and tension. Have a plan in place before things escalate, for example how you and your partner/family/roommates will each get time alone. Consider making a plan for each caregiver to have some time “off duty” if you are co-parenting young children together.
Your family’s obligations outside the home may have changed due to school cancellations or working remotely. For some, this initially feels like a relief; however the structure and routine that work and school promote is often beneficial, especially for individuals with anxiety or depression. With this in mind, find a daily routine for you and your family that you can stick to. You may want to post it somewhere everyone will see each day.
Try to stick to a normal sleep/wake schedule, including setting alarms to wake up and to remind you to go to bed
Shower and get dressed in clothes other than those you slept in, even if you don’t plan to leave the house
Eat meals at regular times
Be mindful of the strategies you are using to manage or numb your anxiety regarding the pandemic and other areas of your life, including alcohol consumption, recreational drug use, overeating, electronic device/social media use and binge-watching shows/movies. Notice their impact on your sleep, productivity and mood. Alternatives to try include:
Get outside – take a walk, do yard work, start a garden
Do something creative – journal, draw, color, bake, write a short story, make something new
Do something to keep your mind busy – organize your closets or basement, do a crossword puzzle or jigsaw puzzle, read a book or magazine, devise a new recipe from the ingredients you have available
Reach out to a friend to talk about what’s on your mind or for a healthy distraction
If you or someone you care for is in crisis and needs immediate help, remember the following resources are available:
Erie County 24/7 crisis numbers:
Children under the age of 18: 716-882-4357 (Spectrum Cares)
Adults: 716-834-3131 (Crisis Services)
National mental health crisis resources:
Crisis text line: Text the word “Home” to the number 741-741
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255