We are sharing in an experience with the COVID-19 crisis that will serve to reshape the future of our communities, our work, our families, and each and every individual. With so much attention focused on the diagnosis and treatment related to the virus, we recognise that those feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety, and even substance use may impact substantially more of us than a COVID-19 diagnosis.
During this public health emergency, it is important to take care of ourselves, support one other and spread the message that “you are not alone.” Taking care of our mental health is just as important as our physical health. This month is a great reminder to take care of ourselves, as well as each other.”
To take charge of your mental health during the current crisis:
* Care for yourself. Recognise the importance of “me time” and carve out a part of each day to do something that rejuvenates yourself – listen to a podcast, do yoga, connect with a friend, or just go outside for a breath of fresh air.
* Seek help if you need it. Talking to a friend or family member is a good start, but professional mental health services may also be necessary. The earlier people seek help, the better their results. While going to see someone in person may not be possible, telehealth offers a way to talk to a professional while practising physical distancing.
* Explore community resources. There are many valuable and often underutilised resources available. These include free therapy sessions and telehealth, as well as digital resources.
* Support one another. Caring for others is one way to care for yourself. Call an older adult who may be experiencing loneliness, text a friend who’s working long hours, or join your family or friends for a video dinner. A simple gesture can go a long way for you and for them.
* Talk about it. Let people know that they are not alone. Your experience matters. Taking time for yourself? Share your #MeMinutes, whether on social media, using the hashtag, or with others in your community. Sharing your own self-care routine may encourage others to care for themselves, too.
Sharing your personal experience engages others and fosters acceptance and awareness around mental health, and encourages others to take the steps to access treatment and support during difficult times. You are not alone. -BPT