Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Midst of COVID-19

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  • "FACE COVID"- Responding Effectively to COVID-19

    Dr. Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap, created a set of steps to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The steps, outlined below, are based upon acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), a popular and empirically-supported model.

     

    F = Focus on what’s in your control
    A = Acknowledge your thoughts & feelings
    C = Come back into your body
    E = Engage in what you’re doing

     

    C = Committed action
    O = Opening up
    V = Values
    I = Identify resources
    D = Disinfect & distance

     

    Dr. Harris explores each step further, providing practical application along the way. Check out the full article here.

  • Coping With Stress During COVID-19

    Keep Yourself Healthy

    • Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine
    • Get plenty of sleep and rest
    • Eat healthy foods and drink water
    • Find reliable information sources
    • Pay attention to early warning signs of stress
    • Take a break from the news to focus on things you can control
    • Get physical exercise
    • Wash your hands regularly
    • Relax by doing things that work for you: stretching, deep breathing, meditating, engaging in hobbies
    • Talk about your feelings to family, friends, or mental health professionals often
    • Try and do something fun between stressful activities

    Know the Signs of Stress

    Physical:

    • Stomachaches
    • Headaches
    • Change in appetite
    • Sweating or chills
    • Muscle twitches
    • Being easily startled

    Behavioral:

    • Change in energy
    • Increase in substance use
    • Increase in irritability
    • Trouble relaxing or sleeping
    • Crying frequently
    • Excessive worrying
    • Isolating self
    • Blaming others
    • Difficulty communicating
    • Inability to have fun

    Emotional:

    • Feeling anxious
    • Feeling depressed
    • Feeling guilty
    • Feeling angry
    • Feeling invulnerable
    • Not caring about anything
    • Feeling overwhelmed with sadness

    Thoughts:

    • Trouble with memory
    • Feeling confused
    • Trouble thinking clearly and concentrating
    • Difficulty making decisions

     

    Information obtained from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

    Check out this article on other helpful tips for taking care of your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Tips for Self-Isolating During COVID-19

    Self-isolation can be a really helpful way to limit the spread of diseases, however it can be stressful and taxing. It is important to prioritize your mental health during periods of isolation. Below are some tips that can help you cope.

    Before Isolating

    • Get all the information! People find it helpful when they know exactly why they are being isolated and what is expected of them
    • Get a clear expectation for how long you should isolate for
    • Ensure you have enough resources and supplies to take care of your basic needs

    During Isolation

    • Balance watching the news and getting information with self-care activities
    • Follow a daily routine
    • Connect with others virtually
    • Keep a healthy lifestyle, such as eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and finding ways to exercise
    • Keep things in perspective, journaling about your thoughts or mindfulness apps can help

    After Isolation

    • Remind yourself that it is normal to feel mixed emotions including relief and worry
    • Monitor yourself for symptoms of extreme stress such as trouble sleeping, not carrying out your daily routines, or increases in drug/alcohol use.
    • Contact a mental health professional if you notice any of those signs of you feel like you need someone to talk to
    Information obtained from the American Psychological Association 
    and the Center for Disease Control
  • Tips for At Risk Populations for COVID-19

    Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

    • Older adults
    • People with heart or lung disease
    • People with compromised immune systems
    • People with diabetes

    IF you are at HIGHER RISK, you should:

    • Keep space between yourself and others
    • Wash your hands and avoid crowds
    • Stock up on healthcare supplies
    • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel
    • Stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed

    Cough, fever, and shortness of breath are the primary symptoms of COVID-19. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor. Emergency warning signs include: persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, and bluish lips or face. Get medical attention immediately if these signs occur.

    The Oklahoma State Department of Health has established a call center to answer COVID-19 related questions. 877-215-8336

    Visit these websites for more information:

    Information obtained from the Center of Disease Control
  • External Resources

    Click here for resources from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention .

    Click here for UnitedHealthcare Student resources and news.

    Click here for resources from the American Psychological Association.

    Click here for resources from the JED foundation.

    Click here for resources from the Active Minds.

    Click here for tips to cope with COVID-19 anxiety.