Self-Care in the Time of COVID-19

Keridwen CorneliusApril 20, 2020
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Photo courtesy stock.adobe.com
Photo courtesy stock.adobe.com

Local resources and tips from experts can help you maintain mental wellness.

As of press time, no one knows how the pandemic will be impacting people’s lives by the time you read this. The only thing certain is that you’re probably struggling.

“Remember that you have faced difficult times before. Make a list of everything you have learned from previous experience, and note how you may use these same skills now,” advises Nika Gueci, executive director of university engagement at Arizona State University’s Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience. Every weekday, you can soothe your frayed nerves and ask questions during the center’s free communal Midday Mindfulness Sessions (mindfulnesscenter.asu.edu).

Seniors can connect through online meditation, stress-reduction and resiliency classes with Surprise-based Sun Health Wellness (sunhealthwellness.org), plus virtual classes with ASU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (lifelonglearning.asu.edu).

If you need one-on-one support, Terros Health’s counselors offer telemedicine visits (602-685-6000, terroshealth.org). Arizona’s Crisis Response Network is available 24-7 if you or a loved one requires immediate help (602-222-9444, crisisnetwork.org). Anxiety and quarantining can increase the risk of domestic violence. Local shelters are open and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols to protect people from COVID-19. Weekdays, you can call the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual & Domestic Violence helpline at 602-279-2900 or discreetly chat online at acesdv.org/helpline.

If you have a mental health provider, be sure to keep up your appointments and ensure you don’t run out of medications, says Dr. Mike Sweeney, chief medical officer of Southwest Behavioral & Health Services. “As much as possible, maintain your daily routine and do the things that sustained you before this event,” he adds.

Structure is essential during this stressful time when schedules have been thrown into a tailspin, says Dr. Courtney Gaines, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at Terros Health. Maintain healthy sleeping and eating patterns, set up a dedicated workspace and consider creating a temporary home yoga studio, Gaines advises. Also, she says, “Create vision boards and think of all of the things you want to do when the storm has passed. Most important, remember that we will get through this together.”

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