A few days ago, we asked you how the coronavirus pandemic has changed you and some of you talked about loneliness, depression, and PTSD in your responses.
On normal days, taking care of our mental health is already hard enough; add the COVID-19 crisis into the mix and this becomes even harder. Then there’s social isolation and the added economic stress that we are under (unemployment rate is already above 15 percent as “nearly 17 million people filed initial claims for unemployment insurance over the past three weeks,” according to Brookings’ report). Experts say that during this COVID-19 crisis, “the potential for adverse outcomes on suicide risk is high.”
But we cannot risk the entire population getting infected (just imagine the possible body count if this happens) and social distancing is the key to containing SARS-CoV-2 which is why now, more than ever, it is important that we take care of our mental health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), outbreaks can be stressful and everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. As we’ve discussed previously, some people turn to porn, others to food and sex toys, but there are also some people who go binge drinking instead. But we simply can’t just shake our fears and worries for our own health and that of our loved ones as well. Not to mention that our daily routines have been disrupted, so much that our sleep and eating habits have changed. We begin to experience difficulty in concentrating and we can hardly sleep. My friend’s officemate for one had gone MIA at work (they work from home now just like we do here on A4A). Her officemate thinks she’s going to die because of this pandemic so what my friend does is she talks to her through FaceTime every day. This brings us to ways in which we can cope with stress amid this coronavirus crisis.
CDC explained that taking care of ourselves, our family and friends can help us cope with stress. The agency also underscored the importance of taking a break from “watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media” because “hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.” We also need to take care of our body, get plenty of sleep, to exercise regularly, eat healthy, to meditate, to take time to unwind and do activities that we enjoy, and we definitely must avoid alcohol and drugs.
Further, CDC said that the best way to fight fear is to know the facts about COVID-19 and of course, to not forget to connect with others, to “talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.” In fact, some experts actually refer to social distancing as physical distancing because there are still ways with which we can connect with other people socially even if we are physically apart. Here on Adam4Adam, we can connect with other A4A members by simply downloading Adam4Adam Radar here to your mobile. And let’s not forget to check in with our loved ones as well by emailing, texting, and calling them.
Lastly, if you or anyone you know are having suicidal thoughts or are feeling “overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others,” CDC encourages us to:
- call 911
- Visit the Disaster Distress Helpline, call 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746
- Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224
We can also check the following resources:
- the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.
- You may also click here or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for more resources.
- US – Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860 Available 24/7
- Canada – Trans Lifeline: (877) 330-6366 Available 24/7
- For the other Asian countries, click here while those who are in various countries in Europe may check here.
- For Adam4Adam users from other parts of the world not mentioned above, you may check out this, this, and this link.