Tips for Mental Health and Wellness
- 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
- 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.