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Five tips for supporting mental health during COVID-19

Five tips for supporting mental health during COVID-19

These days, simply turning on your TV, radio, or even opening up the Facebook app on your cell phone can cause feelings of anxiety and uncertainty due to the widespread reports on coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to psychologists, anxiety is a natural response to the unknown, so know that it’s completely normal to feel unsettled. To help you with some of these feelings, check out these five tips to help you support your mental health during these trying times.

Be active. Exercise should be fun, so feel free to get creative! Visit YouTube, fitness apps, or see if your local gym or Pilates studio is offering free online classes. Ask Alexa to turn on some fun music and dance around the house. Go for a bike ride, run or walk your dog outside when the weather permits and while still maintaining social distancing practices in Wyoming -- maintain at least 6 feet apart from others and keep groups limited to 10 people. Do an activity you enjoy to help relieve stress and tension. For more tips on staying active, check out this article from ACSM.

Be grateful. Even in difficult times, it’s a safe bet that something good happens every day. Write down or talk about what you are grateful for each day. For some tips on how to do this, check out this article on practicing gratitude.

Create and maintain a routine. Part of the stress of this pandemic is that our daily routines have been upended; some of us are now working from home, or helping our children with school, or perhaps not working at all. These are significant changes that are anxiety-producing by themselves. Build a schedule for you and your family to have both productive and fun times. If you’re not working, or working from home, get up and get ready like you would if you had to go to work. Can’t see your friends or family? Get on video chatting software like FaceTime, HouseParty or Zoom and schedule a happy hour or game night with friends and loved ones. Check out these tips by Healthline to help you keep a routine.

Meditate. Did you know that meditation has been used to manage stress for more than 3,000 years? If you’re looking to begin, start small. All you have to do is sit in a quiet place for a few minutes with your eyes closed and just observe your thoughts. Do this every day at the same time (put it into your schedule). If you need help, check out some popular mediate apps:

Check out this article on how to meditate by Mindful for more information.

Be informed, but not too informed. Make sure you get your information from credible sources such as the CDCWyoming Department of Health, and Campbell County Public Health. And set limits for yourself and technology use. Put phones away during mealtimes, and use those times to connect with your family. Don’t use your cell phone or tablet right away when you wake up, or an hour before you go to bed. Check out this article on digital detoxes by VeryWell for more tips.

Looking for more tips? Check out resources from the following organizations:

And, if your feelings are overwhelming, seek help. CCH is offering telephone and virtual visits for current Behavioral Health patients or potential patients. Information on scheduling a telephone or virtual appointment can be made by calling 307.688.5000. The Behavioral Health Crisis line is available 24/7 by calling 688-5050, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress at 1-800-273-8255.

If you feel you need immediate assistance, there are a number of resources available: