Tips for taking care of your mental health during COVID-19:
- Start with you. Self-care has never been more important. When everyone around you is anxious and on edge, the best way to stay healthy and help those in need around you is by taking care of yourself. Get sleep, eat well and engage in some kind of movement every day. Acknowledge your feelings and think about how to deal with them one step at a time. Do the things that will help you stay calm and centered. Those steps are the priority right now.
- Stay connected virtually. Call someone. FaceTime someone. Schedule a coffee date over zoom. We may need to be socially distant but we don’t need to be relationally distant.
- Focus on the facts, but avoid information overload. It’s important to stay informed, but don’t read about the pandemic all day every day. Focus on what you can do right now, but avoid the “what ifs.” If you do find yourself in a cycle of catastrophic thinking, practicing deep breathing and mindfulness techniques to dial it back.
- Find something fun to do. Seek out things that will make you laugh and enjoy yourself, like watching a funny movie, cooking, reading, spending time in nature, or organizing. Do things that bring you joy.
- Take advantage of being forced to slow down. Take time for self-growth and self-care. Work on something that’s been on your to-do list for awhile but you never had time to get to.
- Last but certainly not least, pray. Meditate. Spend time reflecting on what you’re grateful for. Thank God for his mercies that are new every day.
From the Humanitarian Disaster Institute:
Many local resources, including SamaraCare, Edgewood, and Linden Oaks, are offering their services online. Here are additional resources:
NAMI Mental Health Support
A warmline is a confidential, non-crisis emotional support telephone hotline staffed by peer volunteers who are in recovery. Callers will find an empathetic listener to talk through their feelings. To find a warmline that serves your area, visit the NAMI HelpLine Warmline Directory. NAMI hosts online communities where people exchange support and encouragement. These Discussion Groups can easily be joined by visiting nami.org.
Free online text chat with a trained listener for emotional support and counseling. Also offers fee-for-service online therapy with a licensed mental health professional. Service/website also offered in Spanish. 7cups.com
DivorceCare is a biblical, Christ-centered divorce support group ministry. Using videos and workbooks, participants will discover how the gospel brings hope and restoration. DivorceCare for Kids (DC4K) is a program that complements the adult support group, helping single parents and their children find biblical, Christ-centered healing. www.divorcecare.org
An international fellowship of people who desire to have a better sense of emotional well-being. EA members have online weekly meetings with 600 active groups worldwide. The EA is nonprofessional and can be a complement to therapy. emotionsanonymous.org
Sexual Addiction Recovery
Whether through fantasy, masturbation, compulsive relationships, pornography or any other form of sexual addiction, L.I.F.E. Recovery International can help you to Live In Freedom Everyday. Without a Recovery Plan that addresses the sources of pain, we are prone to switch addictions. The healing of core issues in a safe L.I.F.E. Group environment, develops healthy intimacy skills. www.thehopeline.com
Support Group Central
Offers virtual support groups on numerous mental health conditions – free or low-cost. Website also offered in Spanish. supportgroupscentral.com
Website featuring 200+ online support groups. online.supportgroups.com/
For Like Minds
Online mental health support network that allows for individuals to connect with others who are living with or supporting someone with mental health conditions, substance use disorders, and stressful life events. forlikeminds.com
Offers a free, peer-to-peer online support community for those struggling with a wide range of mental health issues. 18percent.org
Offers online mental health resources, quizzes, news, an “Ask the Therapist” function, and online support communities. psychcentral.com
A directory of online meetings seven days a week. aa-intergroup.org
Substance abuse and mental health services. samhsa.gov