The fear of being infected with the coronavirus — coupled with job losses, closed schools, shuttered churches, empty shelves and plummeting stocks — is stressful enough.
Take time to take a deep breathe and read how to handle stress and isolation. Travis Mickelson, associate medical director of mental health integration for Intermountain Healthcare said, "We actually can be very strong and resilient, when exposed to certain events.” We are at our best, though, he said, when we are focused on the things that help boost our natural coping skills: sleeping well, maintaining an exercise routine, eating healthy and “continuing to feel like we are being helpful to ourselves, our family and society.”
What can people do to relieve some of the anxiety they might be experiencing?
“Concrete things like filling up a jug of water or buying a couple of cans of food can help,” Benjamin Farmer, a family therapist said. “Taking clear, small steps to move in a direction where they can feel they have some control. Reaching out to others to ask how they are doing can help an anxious person cope. Having a support system in place, even if it’s only one or two people, is enough to alleviate anxiety. Reframing how they approach this virus, saying, ‘I am socially isolating to protect my family.’ Reframing can give people a sense of power to navigate that stress."
What should you do if you’re having a hard time sleeping?
“Sleep is tricky,” Farmer said. “You need to recognize this [virus] is a place we’ve never been before and it’s OK to have challenges. But it is important to maintain routines. Without going out to school and work, it is tempting to sleep in until 10. Don’t do that. The most important thing is to wake up at the same time every day. At bedtime, don’t watch TV and read news stories online. If you can’t fall asleep within 15 minutes, get up and do something else. Maintain a sleepy atmosphere; reserve the bed for sleeping. Also, exercise is super important. Climb stairs in your house, grab cans of soup for weight training, walk around.”
Said Mickelson: Stick to routine, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, and spend the hours before sleep doing activities that are calming and create a sense of safety, Worries interfere with sleep. So set aside time before you go to bed — maybe in the morning — to really focus on what is worrying you and how it can be solved.
This information was generously provided by Kathy Stephenson and Peggy Fletcher Stack of the Salt Lake Tribue. To read complete article and other topics like "What parents can do to help their children cope?" please visit their helpful article.
The Caravan News hope this helps as we together remain strong and get through COVID 19 together.