By Stephen Hallock, LMHC (he/him)
This is a stressful time for all of us, but it’s also an opportunity to focus on what is important take care of ourselves. Below are a few strategies to help maintain emotional health while socially distancing:
Write out a schedule or routine every day. Even if it’s insignificant stuff like “take a shower” or “have a cup of tea.” It is helpful to our brains to have a set of expectations for the day.
Keep a journal. Make sure to write out the positive things about being home, and the good things that you are doing to take care of yourself. You can also write about things that are hard and stressful, to “get them out on paper.”
Make sure you take time to exercise daily however you can. Go for walks, bike rides and jogs. Do workout videos on YouTube or live online workouts.
Socialize via FaceTime, group texts or other social media. Talk with friends and family about funny and good stuff every day.
Avoid drugs and alcohol. Coping with substances will only lead to brain chemistry imbalance, which will cause even more distress.
Stay informed, but not overwhelmed by news media. Remember that news companies are in the business of getting your attention as often as possible, which is commonly done through fear and misinformation. Keep up to date with recommendations from your school, the CDC and local government, but also give yourself space from the constant barrage of fear-provoking news.
If you are experiencing overwhelming anxiety or depression, contact a support professional. School and county websites have lists of available community resources. If you are having thoughts or feelings of hurting yourself, call 911 immediately.