Coronavirus (COVID-19): Caring for your Physical and Mental Health| Mindfulpath
Updated: Apr 3, 2020
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19): CARING FOR YOUR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current Coronavirus (COVID-19), can be scary, even downright frightening, and not only affects our physical health but our mental health as well. While it is essential to stay informed, there are also many things we can do to support and manage our well-being and the well-being of others during this stressful time.
Here are some tips we hope will help you, your friends, and your family to care for your physical and mental health at a time when there is much Coronavirus conversation coming at us of potential threats to our physical health.
PHYSICAL PRECAUTIONS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
Try to avoid speculation and look up reputable sources on the outbreak.
Rumor and assumptions can intensify anxiety. Having access to information from appropriate and trusted sources about the virus can help you feel more in control. If you are sharing any content, ensure this comes from trusted sources.
Follow hygiene advice such as WASHING YOUR HANDS more often than usual, for 20 SECONDS with soap and hot water. Ensure that you do this whenever you get home from your day, throughout the day and when you leave work, blow your nose, sneeze or cough, and eat or handle food. If you can’t wash your hands right away, make sure you use hand sanitizer and then wash them at the next possible opportunity.
Use tissues if you cough or sneeze and make sure you dispose of them quickly.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay at home if you are not feeling well.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using household cleaning spray or disinfectant wipes.
Social distancing by limiting being in large groups of people and keep a safe physical distance from others.
Ensure you have enough prescription medicines available to you.
Call your doctor, get tested, and self-isolate if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms including fever.
MENTAL HEALTH CARE DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
Use healthy stress management and relaxation techniques. Read 21 Ways to Manage Your Anxiety
Keep active, which is something that can be done in your home if it is decided you should not attend the gym.
Ensure that you have your food stocked up and eat a balanced diet.
We should also be aware of and avoid increasing habits that may not be helpful in the long term, like smoking and drinking.
Stay connected to peers, family, co-workers, and loved ones. Staying connected is an essential ongoing factor for good mental health. Do your best to keep in touch with your friends and family.
Try to anticipate distress.
Practice paced breathing to help reduce emotional distress. Choose your type of breathwork that is effective for you.
It is normal to feel vulnerable and overwhelmed as we read news about the outbreak, especially if you have experienced trauma or a mental health problem in the past, or if you have a long-term physical health condition that makes you more vulnerable to the effects of the Coronavirus.
It’s important to acknowledge your underlying thoughts and feelings and to remind each other to look after our physical and mental health.
Do something kind for another such as try and reassure people you know who may be worried and check in with people who you know are living alone.
Seek support as needed, such as telehealth therapy services. Mindfulpath does offer telehealth services for therapy, group, case-management, yoga, meditation, and breathwork.
Utilize apps such as insight timer, calm, happify, headspace
Utilize your five senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell) to self-soothe during times of distress. Some examples are to take a warm bath with lavender bath salts, play relaxing music, make a cup of tea, and eat a comforting snack.
Practice engaging in one thing mindfully at a time.
Use any type of prayer that works for you whether it be to a higher power, God, or the universe.
Don’t judge people and avoid jumping to conclusions about who is responsible for the spread of the disease. The Coronavirus can affect anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or sex.
There is extensive news coverage about the outbreak. If you find that the news is causing you overwhelming stress, it’s crucial to find a balance.
It’s best that you don’t avoid all news and that you keep informing and educating yourself, but limit your news intake if it is bothering you.
Create a daily routine that prioritizes looking after yourself. You could try reading more or watching movies, playing games, implementing an exercise routine, trying new relaxation techniques, dancing in your home, or listening to music.
Keeping yourself physically healthy will help to support good mental health. Remember, you are not alone. We are all in this together.
With all this changing hour to hour, it means a different tempo of life. Be in touch with other people regularly on social media, e-mail, or the phone, as they are still ideal ways of being close to the people who matter to you.
You can get up-to-date information and advice on the virus here:
https://www.cdc.gov– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)