My sil, as CEO of a medical research group, sends daily messages to his organization. A few of his thoughts and suggestions I thought might be worth sharing with our group:
“As a surgical oncologist I told patients and their family members that depression and anxiety in response to stressful situations were as common as the common cold. These feelings should be acknowledged and even treated if they were felt to be getting beyond the control of those experiencing it.”
“Prevention is always better than treatment when possible. Here are some ways to minimize the stress associated with our current situation.
- Set a limit on media consumption, including social media, local or national news.
- Stay active. Make sure to get enough sleep and rest. Stay hydrated and avoid excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol. Eat healthy foods when possible. Get out if possible for a walk, maintaining social distance.
- Connect with loved ones and others who may be experiencing stress about the outbreak. Talk about your feelings and enjoy conversation unrelated to the outbreak.
- Get accurate health information from reputable sources. For health information about COVID-19, please contact the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov or your local healthcare provider.
If you or someone around you is feeling depressed or anxious in response to this situation and its associated relative social isolation, and feel that it is getting to a level that you are struggling to deal with by yourself or with those around you, here are some resources:
- The national Disaster Distress Helpline is available to anyone experiencing emotional distress related to COVID-19. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 to speak to a caring counselor.
- For other coping tools and resources for yourself and yours, visit the Vibrant Emotional Health’s Safe Space at vibrant.org/safespace.