COVID-19 Coping Strategies
According to Doreen Marshall, Ph.D., with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there are five things you need to do to get through this time of COVID-19.
- Separate what is in your control from what is not. There are things you can do, and it is helpful to focus on those. Wash your hands. Remind others to wash theirs. Take your vitamins. Limit your consumption of news.
- Do what helps you feel a sense of safety. This will be different for everyone, and it’s important not to compare yourself to others. It’s OK if you’ve decided what makes you feel safe is to limit attendance of large social events, but make sure you separate when you are isolating based on the potential for sickness, versus isolating because it is part of depression.
- Get outside in nature—even if you are avoiding crowds. Take a walk and get some fresh air (and a does of vitamin D). Exercise helps both your physical and mental health.
- Challenge yourself to stay in the present. Perhaps your worries are compounding—you are not only thinking about what is currently happening, but also projecting into the future. When you find yourself worrying about something that hasn’t happened, gently bring yourself back to the present moment. Notice the sights, sounds, tastes and other sensory experiences in the immediate moment and name them. Engaging in mindfulness activities is one way to help stay grounded when things feel beyond your control.
- Stay connected and reach out if you need more support. Talk to trusted friends about what you are feeling. If you are feeling particularly anxious or struggling with your mental health, it’s OK to reach out to a mental health professional for support. You don’t have to be alone with your worries.
Adapted from the Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention e-news.