Supporting Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful—it can be difficult to cope with fear and anxiety, changing daily routines, and a general sense of uncertainty. Although people respond to stressful situations in different ways, taking steps to care for yourself and your family can help you manage stress.
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
Things you can do to support yourself
- Take breaks from the news. Set aside periods of time each day during which you close your news and social media feeds and turn off the TV. Give yourself some time and space to think about and focus on other things.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat regular, well-balanced meals; get some physical activity every day; give yourself time to get a full night’s sleep; and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to engage in activities and hobbies you enjoy. Engaging in these activities offers an important outlet for pleasure, fun, and creativity.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. Digital tools can help keep you stay connected with friends, family, and neighbors when you aren’t able to see them in person.
- Set goals and priorities.Decide what must get done today and what can wait. Priorities may shift to reflect changes in schedules and routines and that is okay. Recognize what you have accomplished at the end of the day.
- Focus on the facts. Sharing the facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful.
Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
Source: National Institute of Mental Health | Supporting Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2020/supporting-mental-health-during-the-covid-19-pandemic.shtml| public domain. Last updated April 2020
Stress and Crisis Resources
For immediate assistance, the following resources are available 24/7 unless otherwise noted:
- Dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency room or urgent care
- Crisis Text Line: Text BAY to 741741 (Anyone can send a message! Kids, teens, and adults)
- Star Vista’s Crisis Hotline: 650.579.0350
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline: (800) 273-8255
- Uplift Mobile Crisis Team: (408) 379-9085 / toll-free (877) 412-7474
- Alum Rock Mobile Crisis: 408.294.0579
- Lifeline Crisis Chat: crisischat.org
- OnYourMind Teen Chat (M-Th, 4:30-9:30 pm): onyourmind.net
A screening can help you determine if you or someone you care about should contact a mental health professional. CHC teletherapy services are available now. Call or email our Care Managers at 650.688.3625 or email@example.com to set up a free 30-minute consultation appointment.