Published on October 23, 2020

Taking Care of Your Mental Health During a Crisis

Taking care of your mental health has never been more important, as concerns continue surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. In the midst of all that’s going on, it’s normal to feel anxious, overwhelmed and depressed. There are several things you can do to ensure you are taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally, during this time.

“If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider limiting your exposure to the news and social media,” said Kathy Dollard, Psy.D., director of behavioral health at MidMichigan Health. “Take a few deep, cleansing breaths, remind yourself that these feelings will fade, and focus on doing something positive or productive to lift your mood.”

Taking care of your body is just as important as mental health. Dollard suggests eating well-balanced meals, getting an appropriate amount of sleep and exercise and limiting your alcohol intake. If you do find yourself struggling physically or mentally, contact your health care provider if you feel that you need some extra support.

“When our sense of normalcy is disrupted, it can be disconcerting,” said Dollard. “We may not know what the future holds, but you can focus on the things that you can control. Take reasonable precautions and avoid unnecessary risks to protect your well-being, ask for assistance when you need it and talk to trusted friends about what you are going through.”

If you are in need of additional support, start by making an appointment with your primary care provider, who can help facilitate a warm handoff to a therapist in the office or can make a referral to another local mental health resource if necessary.

Those who are in need of assistance are encouraged to contact the Disaster Distress helpline at (800) 985-5990, text “talkWithUs” to 66746 or visit www.disasterdistress.samhsa.gov.

As a service to the community, MidMichigan Health hosts a COVID-19 informational hotline with a reminder of CDC guidelines and recommendations. Staff is also available to help answer community questions Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hotline can be reached toll-free at (800) 445-7356 or (989) 794-7600. Inquiries can also be sent to MidMichigan Health via Facebook messenger at www.facebook.com/midmichigan.

Those who are interested in learning more about COVID-19 may visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.