[5 MIN READ]
In this article:
Big changes can cause big stress.
Everyone needs help from time to time -- there’s no shame in asking for help or accepting it when offered.
A Providence clinician explains why now is the time to offer and accept help from the people we are connected to -- and shares community resources available.
It’s no surprise that many Americans are struggling with the many challenges of today’s new world. We’re facing social unrest, a global health crisis, political division, and economic issues. Juggling these competing concerns is taking its toll.
During this time, it’s important to stay committed to your physical, mental, and social well being. That includes asking for help when you need it and looking out for your neighbors.
Living through a pandemic can be challenging for everyone. Providence wants to support you with access to agencies, advice, and resources that can help.
Here, we’ve pulled together a few ways to deal with uncertainty and cope with even the most difficult situations. We hope this can help bring strength to you and others in your community.
Find a list of resources available in your community.
Build your resilience
You are not alone. Others in the community are facing similar struggles and worries. But, that doesn’t make it any less difficult to this complex time. One way to help cope is to build your resilience. And it’s easier than it sounds.
Here are a few ways you can build resilience and manage uncertainty:
- Stay connected with family and friends. Schedule weekly phone calls or video chats with the people closest to you.
- Find ways to do your favorite activities outside. Research indicates that being outdoors may reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19. Taking a book to a park, gardening in your front yard or riding a bike around your neighborhood are all activities that allow you to see people (without having to be too close) and can make you feel less lonely.
- Keep a journal. A journal can provide an outlet for your emotions and even help you cope with feelings of grief.
- Stick to your routine. When things seem upside down, a routine can bring a little structure and normalcy. Get up and go to bed at the same time every night, even when you’re working from home. And try to eat at the same times throughout the day. You’ll be surprised at how these little choices can help make things feel (almost) normal.
- Limit news and social media. It’s important to stay up to date on what’s happening in the community. It also helps to maintain connections with friends on social media. But, endless scrolling can lead to a downward spiral of stress, worry and anxiety. Limit your time online if you find yourself getting worked up about the posts you see. Many phones have settings that allow you to set a specific time limit for social media or other apps.
- Try new things. Many people have taken up new hobbies during local and statewide stay-at-home orders. Challenge yourself to try something new. It can be a new recipe, a new hobby or (safely) exploring a new part of your town.
- Stay active. Exercise helps boost your mood. It can even help you feel more connected to others. Sign up for a virtual exercise class, take a hike on nearby trails or work out with a friend over Zoom. Your body and mind will get a much-needed boost of endorphins.
Take care of your physical, mental, and spiritual health
Months into COVID-19, you know the importance of protecting your physical health. Eat healthily. Get plenty of rest. Stay on top of doctor’s appointments. These steps help reduce your risk of getting COVID-19, and even colds and the flu.
But as the battle of threats to your physical health continues on, the “second curve” of the global pandemic is forming. The second curve refers to the strain of the pandemic on your mental health.
Because of this, it’s important to focus on what you can control. Take care of your own mental health. If you or a loved one is struggling, reach out for help. There are many great resources to support your mental health, including on-demand virtual care with a Providence mental health provider.
Get involved in your community
Helping your community during times of crisis can help strengthen bonds with others and improve your physical and mental health. Volunteers provide critical resources and support for people in need. And research shows that volunteerism can positively impact your mental and physical health.
Simple activities, like reading to seniors or sending them mail are great, low-risk ways to build community. Find an organization or cause you’re passionate about and look for ways that make sense for you to support them. It can be with your time, money, or resources.
Ask for help when you need it
COVID-19 has been called the “great unmasker.” It has shown the health and social inequities that disproportionately affect the poor, elderly, communities of color and immigrants. You are not alone and other people are feeling the same way as you are. There’s no reason to be embarrassed to ask for help.
If you are experiencing challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, please reach out for support with:
- Mental health
- Child abuse
- Domestic violence
- Health insurance enrollment
- Food insecurity
- Other resources, including employment, housing and physical health
Find a list of resources available in your community.
These resources were compiled to help ease the way of our patients and families. They can help with many issues, including securing food for your family, helping to ensure the safety of others or getting support if you’re struggling to cope.
Find a doctor
If you’re struggling to cope, talk to your primary care provider. They can help create a game plan that works for you and connects you with the resources you need. Use our provider directory to search for one in your area.
Through Providence Express Care Virtual, you can also access a full range of healthcare services.
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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
About the AuthorMore Content by Providence Body & Mind Team