United Church of Christ

Tips for Mental Health and Wellness

  • Practice Self-Care:
    • Share your feelings and your experiences with family, friends, colleagues.
    • Practice breathing and relaxation techniques.
    • Limit screen time to no more than 60 minutes at a time, building in mini-breaks throughout your day. It is okay to stick to boundaries and say “no.”
    • Avoid or limit caffeine and use of alcohol.
    • Remind yourself that it is not selfish to take breaks.
    • The needs of others are not more important than your needs. Working all the time can cause harm. Turn to others to help. You are not alone.
    • We are in this for the long haul and making these steps to stay well will have long-term benefits.
    • Know that you are making a difference and your life matters.
    • Be consistent with medications including ensuring that you have access to prescribed medications (get a 90 day supply if possible),
    • Limit media exposure to COVID 19,
    • Meditate, pray, maintain a sense of hope and positivity that God is with us, ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed
  • Practice Community-Care
    • Reach out and connect to another person to provide support.
    • Through regular check-ins (phone calls, text, Zoom, FB video, Skype), you can carry the burden of care together.
    • Monitor one another’s stress level and safety.
    • Encourage each other to take breaks and share opportunities for stress relief.
    • Encourage rest, sleep, exercise and deep breathing.
    • Be honest and authentic.
  • Support children and other people at heightened risk of impact
    • Take time to talk with your child about the COVID-19 outbreak.
    • Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child can understand.
    • Reassure your child that they are safe. Let them know if is ok if they feel upset.
    • Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
    • Limit your child’s exposure to media coverage of the event.
    • Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
    • Help your child to have a sense of structure.
    • Once it is safe to return to school or child care, help them return to their regular activity.
    • Be a role model; take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well.
    • Connect with your friends and family members and rely on your social support system..”
  • Recognize and know the symptoms of vicarious and secondary trauma
    • Acknowledge that STS can impact anyone helping families after a traumatic event.
    • Learn the symptoms including physical (fatigue, illness) and mental (fear, withdrawal, guilt).
    • Allow time for you and your family to recover from responding to the outbreak.
    • Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed or concerned that COVID-19 is affecting your ability to care for your family and patients as you did before the outbreak.

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