In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, strong emotions may brew due to the unfamiliarity of the situation. With many states practicing social distancing and placing those who are exposed or may be exposed in quarantine, the stress and anxiety of this isolation can be damaging to a person’s mental health. Envision: You, Colorado’s LGBTQ mental health and substance use initiative, provided ways to cope during this crisis.
Quarantine is separating an individual from others in order to monitor if they have the disease or to keep them safe and healthy as they recover. Social distancing is the restriction of being in public places or keeping six feet apart from others. Social distancing is an important practice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. You can also help by only leaving your home if necessary.
How you react can reflect on those around you. Knowing this, supporting yourself is essential. One way to ease your mind during this unprecedented time is to avoid intake of media that can be stressing or upsetting. Although the news is useful in providing information to the public, it also can cause more worry surrounding this subject. It is best to stick to the advice everyone keeps repeating: wash your hands and maintain distance.
If you are able to work from home or simply have some days off, take this time to focus on yourself. Take advantage of the time you have by sleeping in, eating well, or bringing movement to your body. Use this time to read that book you never finished or clean out your junk drawer as another coping mechanism.
People in the medical world working during this time may experience secondary traumatic stress. Allowing time to process a traumatic event and indulging in self-care may assist in reducing secondary traumatic stress.
To take care of your emotional health, feel free to contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
Remaining home is not ideal for some. If you need help from a domestic abuse situation, you can contact the national hotline: 1-800-799-7233.