Change can be tough, even when it’s in our best interest. So let’s acknowledge that the positive steps we’re all taking—social distancing, sheltering in place, quarantining—to slow the spread of coronavirus is also causing some hardships too.
This is a stressful time for everyone. If you’re coping with mental health challenges, the rapid shifts toward distancing and isolating ourselves from others can make you feel suddenly cut off from your support systems. It’s more important than ever to pursue self-care routines that help you stay well and strong.
For starters, remember that physical distance does not have to translate to emotional distance. Try to reach out frequently to the people you confide in—friends, family, therapists, neighbors, and others—through phone calls, text messages, emails, and video chats.
Our team is dedicated to helping you build strength and stay strong in the face of tough times. Here are a couple of ways that we are here for you right now (and always):
- We invite you to join or return to Strong 365’s Chat Support Community, where you can connect with a trained listener 24/7 for free with the passcode strong. Enabled by a partnership with 7 Cups, you can also choose to explore additional features such as online therapy with a licensed therapist or self-guided growth paths.
- Join our online community (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) for a dependable stream of coping tips, mental health education & uplifting personal stories from our community.
“This goes beyond people who have [psychosis]. If you are a person in the world right now, reach out to those around you.”—Lauren from Living Well With Schizophrenia
Other things you can do to take care of yourself during the COVID-19 outbreak include:
- Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and practice good personal hygiene.
- Strive to eat nutritious foods every day and get enough sleep every night.
- Engage in hobbies that make you feel good, such as drawing, solving puzzles, listening to music, playing games or snuggling with your pet.
- Keep moving as much as you can: Stretch. Join an online yoga or dance class (or Just Dance!), or a free online fitness class. Go for a walk, a run, or a bicycle ride in your neighborhood, taking all the proper precautions.
- Take breaks from the news, including social media.
- Reflect on any anxiety you’re experiencing. Carving out 10 minutes of dedicated “worry time” each day to can help keep a healthy perspective of what is in and out of our control right now, and limit the time we spend worrying throughout the day. Consider what’s real, universal worry about the pandemic—and what’s a possible warning sign of something else. Seek help if you need it.
- If you take medication, keep a sufficient supply on hand to effectively manage and maintain your mental health.
For more ideas, check out this list of resources we love — such as personal stories of thriving with psychosis — as well as the below video from Lauren of Living Well With Schizophrenia, in which she talks about what COVID-19 means for people coping with mental health challenges.
Meanwhile, please know that you are not alone. We’re in this together, and things will get better.
At Strong 365, we believe that the strength to persist and thrive through a mental health challenge exists in all of us. Join our community on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and keep the conversation going about how to live well with psychosis.