We are all trying to process the constant flow of information about the spread of COVID-19 and make the necessary shifts in our daily lives to create and maintain healthy spaces. It’s important to stay connected, ask questions, and learn how to best support ourselves and each other during these times. Below are tips and resources to help you and your family stay mentally healthy throughout the pandemic and recovery.
Coping with COVID-19
Here are a few tips from Okay to Say and the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute.
1. Avoid fixating on the news
A barrage of breaking news can increase stress and anxiety
Turn off the 24-hour news channels, especially when you’re trying to fall asleep
2. Express gratitude
Gratitude promotes trust and empathy
Acknowledge three people – friends, family, healthcare workers, counselors, first responders – who you are grateful for each day
3. Be mindful with your time
Staying home = more time to do things that matter to you
Journal? Call a friend? Declutter? Extra rest?
4. Stick to a routine
Schedules are especially important for those with a history of mental health issues
Avoid sleeping in, get dressed, and stick to a meal schedule
5. Get some fresh air
Physical activity has been shown to relax and cheer people up
Hit your favorite hiking trail or walk around your neighborhood
6. Stay connected
Staying connected improves our sense of well-being
Call, FaceTime, or text at least one family member or friend each day
Helping kids cope
Uncertainty can be especially tough on kids. If you’re caring for a child during COVID-19, check out our tips on managing child anxiety. But don’t forget: Caring for others starts with caring for yourself.Learn more
Texas Health and Human Services has launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress, or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919.
Let's Talk: Coping with COVID-19
Times are tough, but talking helps. Join us for Let’s Talk: Coping with COVID-19 Live Q&A sessions Thursdays on Facebook Live and Instagram Live. Let’s get through this together.
Let’s Talk on Facebook Live at 2 p.m. CT on 5/14 and 5/28
Let’s Talk on Instagram Live at 2 p.m. CT on 5/7 and 5/21
How to talk about COVID-19
Similar to mental health issues, as fear of COVID-19 spread grows, so does the potential to create stereotypes around a positive diagnosis. The more people know and are accepting, the faster we will get through this.
Here are a few tips from UNICEF on how to join the conversation using thoughtful and caring language.
Talk about the new Coronavirus disease
Attach locations or ethnicity to the disease. Remember, viruses can’t target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds.
Talk about “people who have COVID-19”, “people who are being treated for COVID-19”, “people who are recovering from COVID-19”, or “people who died after contracting COVID-19”
Refer to people with the disease as “COVID-19 cases” or “victims”
Talk about people “acquiring” or “contracting” COVID-19
Talk about people “transmitting COVID-19”, “infecting others”, or “spreading the virus”, as it implies intentional transmission and assigns blame
Speak accurately about the risk from COVID-19 based on scientific data and latest official health advice
Repeat or share unconfirmed rumors, and avoid using hyperbolic language designed to generate fear like “plague” or “apocalypse”
Talk positively and emphasize the importance of effective prevention measures
Panic. For most people, this is a disease they can overcome. There are simple steps we can all take to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and the most vulnerable safe.