Maintaining Mental Health During Coronavirus

Dealing with the stress and anxiety during coronavirus may feel overwhelming. You may not have the same feelings as your classmates, coworkers, neighbors, family members, or others in your community — and that’s okay because everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.

In times of uncertainty, connecting with friends and family can really help in managing feelings of fear and anxiety, and be good for your health.

Helping a friend through this time

You might be physically separated from your friends right now, but that doesn't mean you can't help them if they're struggling.

Self-care and managing your emotional well being

Increased stress and anxiety is common during this time, but remember that prioritizing your mental health is just as important as helping your friends.

Helping a friend through this time

  1. Listen (really, listen) if they are willing to share their worries or fears with you
    • Try to avoid judgment or jumping to conclusions
    • Be there for them – sometimes just knowing that someone cares and is there for them is all someone needs to get through a difficult time
    • Let them know that it is possible to feel better and they are not alone
    • Don’t feel like you have to give advice, problem solve, or know all the answers. Just talking with someone as they try to navigate their distress can be very powerful
  2. Help them out with things that might relieve their anxiety
    • Video chat or try a virtual yoga class together
    • Find a relaxation/meditation app that you like and share it with your friend, such as Headspace and Calm
    • If your friend is really struggling, suggest they reach out to The Crisis Text Line by texting SEIZE to 741741
  3. Reach out to others
    • Consider extending support to those outside of your normal social circle, such as neighbors and local service workers or older adults in your community. Volunteering your time to assist neighbors, social workers, or older adults in your community is also a rewarding way to keep occupied while social distancing.

Self-care and managing your emotional well being

  1. Don’t forget your basic needs. When you’re preoccupied with a crisis, it’s easy to forget the everyday habits that can improve your mood and well-being:
    • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
    • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
    • Spend time outside, if possible (while maintaining a safe distance from others)
    • Keep up with a good diet and drink water
    • Try journaling, meditation or breathing
  2. Prioritize self-care and stress relief.
    • Set aside a dedicated time each day to do something that makes you feel calm and alleviates stress — whether it’s meditation, giving yourself a facial, cooking, or doodling in a coloring book.
  3. Stay connected.
    • Keep in contact with your friends, family, and other members of your community via phone calls/facetime, texts, and social media.
  4. Take breaks from news stories and social media.
    • While it’s important to stay informed, non-stop exposure to stories about the pandemic may cause you to feel more distressed. Seek updates at specific times during the day — ideally only once or twice — and focus on getting information from credible sources in order to minimize speculation. Consider adjusting notifications or removing apps from your phone to limit your exposure.
  5. If you’re feeling alone and struggling, you can also reach out to The Crisis Text Line by texting SEIZE to 741741.

Staying Connected

Need some help reaching out?

Check out different ways you can start the conversion in this video. GIFs and stickers can make reaching out to a friend or family member a little easier:

You don't have to be there to be there

Find creative ways to reach out and stay connected with friends and family regularly:

Schedule virtual dinners or dance parties with friends

Start a virtual book club

Participate in online game nights

Plan to watch television shows or movies at the same time and video chat to share reactions

Enroll in remote learning classes or look up tutorials online

Go on virtual museum tours together

Share your favorite recipes or host a virtual cooking competition

Try a home workout together

Engage in live streams - from your favorite yoga studio to your favorite artists

Need help?

Text SEIZE to 741741 or call 1-800-273-8255

In an emergency, call 911