Stay well during crisis

Published 11:27 pm Friday, March 20, 2020

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In the midst of a pandemic that has no precedent in living memory, it’s important that we all take care of our health.

This is your friendly reminder that taking care of your health means your mental health, as well.

You might be doing all the right things for your physical health that have been stressed over the last few weeks. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Stay away from sick people (and, really, away from people in general, since it’s impossible to tell who is infected with coronavirus). Practice “social distancing.”

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You may even be doing the things that are generally recommended for good health, like eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, getting good rest and fitting in as much physical activity as you can while obeying the restrictions.

But during trying times like this, it is imperative that you take care of your mental and spiritual health, as well.

When you are being asked to stay home and distance yourself from many of the things that help support you and give your life routine — things like work or school, visiting family and friends, attending church or maybe even engaging in an enjoyable hobby — it can be hard to keep a positive outlook.

That can be even harder when this common foe we are up against, novel coronavirus and the disease it causes called COVID-19, is causing so much uncertainty. How long will we have to continue “social distancing”? How long until we can go back to “normal life”? Will this disease eventually strike me and people I care about?

However, there are things you can do to help take care of yourself mentally. Here are just a few of them:

  • Separate what is in your control from what is not.
  • Do what helps you feel a sense of safety.
  • Get outside for fresh air, sunshine and exercise, while avoiding crowds, of course.
  • Stay connected virtually with family, friends and your church services, if you can.
  • If you feel up to it, reach out and see if there is someone else you can help. Helping others often makes us feel good.
  • If you’re feeling mentally unwell, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Remember, we are ALL in this together.