Mental health tips for this period of social distancing

By Michel Rousseau • JFCS Counselor

Social distancing does not imply emotional distancing: Staying connected and engaged with your family/friend/communities is important, now more than ever, and can be done in a number of ways (phone, text, email, video chat, written letter, etc.).  

Be mindful of not only what you’re reading, but where it is coming from: Focus on fact-based outlets of reporting like the Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and Associated Press. These are sources that focus on facts and data, not political bias. 

Be mindful of how much news you’re consuming: Don’t be afraid to turn off the news if you begin to feel overwhelmed. It is becoming increasingly clear that getting through this will be a marathon, not a sprint. Therefore, it is important to focus on ways you can sustain your physical/mental/emotional health so you can continue to stay engaged with what is happening. This means taking a break when you need one (especially from the news). There is a subtle difference between staying informed and becoming overwhelmed, and it starts with listening to your body if and when you begin to feel overwhelmed/burnt out. It is all about balance.  

Focus on a routine: Make a daily/weekly schedule (down to the hour if you feel it would help). Infants, children, and adults all need a sense of routine and structureFind ways to develop a routine/structure given the “new normal” of social distancing or staying at home. Go to bed and wake up at the same time you would if you needed to go to work; take a shower and prepare for the day as you would prior to the COVID-19 virus; set a daily schedule of tasks that can provide a sense of accomplishment and engagement.

Set aside time each day to engage in self-care activities: Stress, anxiety, depression, frustration/anger can all feel like pressure that builds within us. A good self-care activity is unique to you, and one that allows a bit of that pressure to be released. Identify your self-care activities that you can engage within at home and intentionally schedule them within your day.

Go for a walk: Fresh air goes a long way to calm the mind/body.

JFCS counselors are continuing to provide confidential care with boundless compassion. Just call JFCS and we can help – especially now.

The current crisis and extreme social distancing measures has many of us feeling anxious and isolated. Our counselors are expertly trained and can provide remote therapy, including teletherapy, for people of all backgrounds and ages. We accept most insurance, including Medicare.

Just call JFCS at 952-546-0616