During these unprecedented times resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, people are feeling overwhelmed with long work hours, caring for family, and frequently changing information. As people try to manage uncertainty about the future, health concerns, financial instability, and access to resources, it becomes imperative to take time for self-care. The Pacific Southwest Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) has summarized recommendations and compiled a list of resources for self-care from reputable sources for you to practice and take care of YOU!
Recommended Tips to Take Care of Yourself
- Fuel your body by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water.
- Aim to get regular sleep and rest (at least 7-8 hours)
- Exercise every day. Taking care of your body helps you feel better mentally, too. While sheltering in that doesn’t mean your exercise routine needs to end, it may just need to be different. Take a family walk after dinner, but follow social distancing guidelines. Do some stretches at your desk while you’re working from home. Aerobic exercise releases endorphins, which are the natural substances that help you maintain a positive attitude.
- Take deep breaths and stretch often.
- Avoid risky behaviors, such as misusing alcohol and other substances, and ignoring public health recommendations.
- Create a sense of structure and routine in daily life.
- Focus on things you can control.
- Use technology to maintain social connections with your loved ones. Consider a regular check-in schedule to give you something to look forward to.
- Engage in relaxing activities. Listen to music, read books, or try a new hobby.
- Consume reliable news sources that report facts, and avoid media that sensationalizes emotions.
- Lean on your personal beliefs and faith for support.
How can I stay informed without becoming anxious?
Take a Break from the News Media. While it is important to stay current about the public health emergency, avoid excessive exposure to media coverage. This includes watching, reading or listening to news stories, even on social media. Limit yourself to a single credible source such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Access Hotlines and Help.1 If you are feeling anxious, considering self-harm, or concerned about yourself or others in your household being harmed, several hotlines are available to help:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 / 1-800-846-8517 (TTY) or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273- 8255 / 1-800-799-4889(TTY)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 / 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
- StrongHearts Native Helpline 1-844-762-8483
Resources to Support Self-Care Strategies and Practices
The World Health Organization
National Association of Social Workers
National Council of Urban Indian Health
National Institute for Health Care Management
Washington State University Wellbeing Online
US Department of Veteran Affairs