April 10, 2020

Self Care in the time of COVID-19

by Stina Peterson

Changes in routine, financial strain and uncertainty, health risks, and even access to toilet paper caused by the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world have brought uncertainty and anxiety upon many of us. While a variety of feelings can arise out of this situation, focusing on the things we can control, the resources available to us, and ways to use creativity and gratitude for the silver linings can sustain us through these challenges.

We were pleased to see that a resource provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty, also includes a reminder on the importance of taking care of our bodies from the inside out. Thankfully for all of us, getting outside (safely) or taking an online yoga class, making nutritious meals, getting the proper amount of sleep each night (#SleepMatters), and connecting with friends and family via online communication is still permitted! The CDC also provides ways to support your mental health while coping with the stress of COVID-19. Quarantine provides an us with an excuse to establish routines and implement self-care rituals with the important reminder that #MindBodyConnect.

Each of us has unique needs in this situation, and it is important to be aware of and cater to mental health needs of everyone, including yourself.  Helping Children Cope Emotionally with Coronavirus is an excellent online resource that provides information on how to maintain structure, while being sensitive to the mental climate of a household with a child. Many of our college students are also struggling with the adjustment to online education, new daily routines, and for some, cancellation of their senior activities and graduation. With resources targeted to young people, The JED Foundation reminds us that Love is Louder than the distance between us. Active Minds provides a unique online hub with support resources and webinars for young adult students, parents, and remote workers.

At JKBF we also believe that tapping into your creative side is an excellent tool to work through a different part of your brain to pass the time during social distancing and help ease anxiety. Art has been widely researched as a form of mental health therapy, but you don’t need a certified art therapist to reap many of the benefits of art. Creative online art classes are a tremendous resource for both adults and youth, and we will continue to post opportunities on our POBA social media platforms. Perhaps you can also search local community resources and support an arts organization, business, or dance studio in your neighborhood. Are you a foodie?? Get creative with your meals! Try a new recipe, make a garnish or embody a professional chef as you elegantly plate your new creation.

As always, if you need to connect with a trained professional, don’t hesitate to text 741741 or call 800-273-TALK. And remind yourself to get your sleep, move your body, eat nutritiously, take time for fun and creativity, and reach out to others. 

by Stina Peterson