COVID-19 EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
As the spread of COVID-19 continues to impact many individuals and families, we want to help. We compiled these ideas to help those who are looking for emotional relief resources and strategies.
MANAGING ANXIETY AND STRESS
If you're experiencing high levels of anxiety during these uncertain times, that is normal. Know that you are processing your anxiety in healthy ways when you’re able to stay relaxed and make rational decisions without feeling overwhelmed or withdrawing. Anxiety (stress) can push us to take care of ourselves, but too much anxiety can become a problem. Below are some simple ideas to help you manage your anxiety and stress levels. We’ve also included some information about how to determine when it might be time to ask a counselor or pastor for help.
SIX HEALTHY TIPS TO HELP YOU COPE DURING THE PANDEMIC:
Create a routine. Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. If you’re working from home, establish a start time and an end time to your "work day" and, if possible, designate a specific "work space" within your home. This can help create a sense of normalcy and predictability.
Stay connected to others. Use technology to stay connected to friends, family, and co-workers by calling, texting, emailing, and video chatting with one another. Connect with people who will be present, compassionate, and good listeners, as well as with those you may be able to serve with your own compassionate listening.
Stay connected to your community. Actively seek ways to stay plugged in. Use technology to watch our church services online. Support local businesses by buying gift cards for a later date or buying meals for our Frontline Heroes. Volunteer your time to help local organizations distribute food and essentials to your community.
Take care of your body. Do things that help you feel better and relieve stress. Eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, practice stretching and breathing exercises, and move your body daily (e.g., yoga, walking, running, dancing).
Access reliable media resources in small doses. Stay informed, but limit the amount of time you check the news to once or twice a day to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed. Ensure your news about the virus comes from reliable sources.
Limit addictive behaviors. Distracting yourself and finding ways to seek relief from what’s going on around you is normal. However, you should set limits how much time you’re spending on television and social media. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake and try not to overeat or "binge" anything.
Check out this timely article for additional tips: Love and Lament in March Madness
WHEN IS IT TIME TO ASK FOR HELP?
We can usually navigate life’s challenges by ourselves or with help from family and friends. However, there are times when we need to get help from a pastor, doctor, or counselor. Here are a few indicators that it might be time to seek professional help:
- Stress is preventing you from functioning in a healthy, productive way or is significantly impacting your quality of life.
- You're struggling to resolve a situation through your normal ways of coping.
- You're attempting to cope with your struggles through the overuse of drugs, alcohol or by other means that are potentially destructive to you or others.
- You are overwhelmed to the point where negative emotions are dominating your thoughts; you may feel hopeless or find yourself losing interest in things that used to bring you joy.
- Negative thoughts are preventing you from thinking clearly and making healthy decisions.
- You’re experiencing heightened social conflict (among family, friends or coworkers) or a desire for increased social withdrawal that is difficult to control.
If you feel it is time to ask for help, consulting your primary care physician or pediatrician is a good first step. Your doctor may be able to assist you themselves, or refer you to additional resources if suitable.
Note that thoughts of self-harm or the desire to harm others require immediate attention, including telling family and friends that care about you and contacting a suicide prevention center and/or other resources listed below. If you feel you may be in immediate danger or a danger to others, go to a behavioral health hospital (options below) for a free assessment, or seek medical attention by dialing 911.
For those with diagnosed emotional health conditions: Please be aware of your symptoms, continue taking your prescribed medications, and keep in touch with your mental health professionals to stay on track.
If you would like to speak with a pastor or staff member about your emotional health or to request prayer, please contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-540-6884. You can also fill out a Prayer Request Form by clicking HERE.
A full list of local counselors and therapists should be available through your primary care doctor/pediatrician or health insurance provider. Local Christian counselors are also available to assist (contact their offices directly), including:
Behavioral Health Hospitals
Behavioral Health Online Screening
Teens and Kids
Stress and Healthy Coping
Relationship Difficulty — Stress on Relationships