Mental Health Support Strategies to Help You Cope

We’re a long way from the early days of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we feel much less stressed or uncertain about it.


Sure, we’ve developed family routines. We’re starting to adjust to the “new normal.” But the anxiety about our day-to-day life—like changes in school openings, difficulty sleeping, fear about the health of a loved one—hasn’t gone anywhere.


Nothing anyone says or does will remove the stress of this crazy situation, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to strengthen our coping strategies. Mental health support is more important than ever, so here are a few approaches to help you find ways to take care of yourself when you need it most.


Get your news from reliable sources 


We’re several months into the pandemic, and it seems like our understanding of the virus has changed almost monthly. Our initial best practices might have involved sanitizing wipe-downs of anyone and anything entering our house, but our current understanding has shifted as we realized the emphasis on airborne particles is more critical.


Make sure you know the basic best practices with the virus, like national advice on what to do when you’re sick or where to get treatment. Get information about your insurance coverage for telehealth counseling, if possible. Understanding the facts about COVID-19 can help you avoid stress-inducing rumors and hearsay, and it can also help you feel more settled in the event that you or someone you love has a health scare. A fantastic source of reliable, science-based information is the Dear Pandemic website. Readers can find pandemic-related information on topics such as infection and spread, schools reopening, and masks.


Additionally, it is essential to take a break from reading or watching the news as needed. When the constant updates are stressful or upsetting, there’s no reason to continue exposing yourself to them. Consume only what you really need to know. 


Connect With Others for Mental Health Support


Physically distanced does not need to mean socially or emotionally distanced! Humans are social creatures, and that’s just as true in a pandemic—even if it’s a little harder to safely reach out. Make sure you’re taking time to connect with people you love, from long-distance friends to local family members you haven’t seen in a while. Even if you can’t visit them in person, it can be helpful to share your concerns or to talk about your life’s normal dramas. It certainly can help you feel less alone!


For Mental Health Support is important that you Take Care of Yourself


Everyone has different go-to practices when it comes to taking care of their bodies, but on a basic level you’ll at least want to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. Beyond that, try to make time for relaxation strategies like meditation, reading, yoga, or stretching. You might also find a sense of purpose in household chores, or a learning adventure like one of many free online courses. Keeping the mind and body busy can be a great way to cope with your stress.


Let’s chat for a minute about when and how to reach out for help from a therapist or counselor. If you are noticing that your stress and anxiety are starting to impact your daily functioning – such as sleep disturbance and difficulty completing work or home tasks – it’s incredibly important to reach out to find a therapist or counselor. Many (if not most) mental health professionals are currently conducting services via teletherapy (virtual) platforms. A great tool to find a U.S.-based professional is the Psychology Today search engine, with which readers can use multiple filters (such as health insurance coverage, location, and areas of specialty) to find a professional who is the right fit for your needs. 


It can be hard not to feel anxious in these unprecedented times. But knowing when to take a break, and having a few small strategies to help handle anxiety as a mental health support source, can help us feel a little less lost. Don’t feel like you’re in this alone: talk with friends and family, get insights into their coping strategies, and get the support you need to make it through this crisis side by side. You can also look through our most recent posts for more helpful strategies.


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