The Hub Behavioral Health

How to support your mental health during quarantine

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so there’s no better time than now to focus on your mental health.

Due to the current pandemic, many of us are experiencing higher levels of stress and feelings of uncertainty and fear. That’s why I’ve compiled some mental health tips to help you get through quarantine.

We are all experiencing a mental health crisis

It’s important we recognize that we are not alone in how the pandemic has affected us, even though we may feel alone in our homes. We are also experiencing our own unique set of challenges during this pandemic so it’s important to take time to care for yourself.

Even though we are being asked to keep our distance from others, it doesn’t mean we need to suffer alone. It’s okay if we can’t pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps right now. It’s okay to ask for support.

There are a lot of different ways to get help and support so that you can know how to stay sane during this quarantine. If you’re an existing patient at Vivacity Care center, you can schedule a virtual appointment with one of our behavioral health specialists. If you’re not an existing patient, call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card for additional options.

Take time to understand what you are feeling

By far, some of the biggest mental health issues that are showing up for people during this quarantine are anxiety and depression.

This is a scary time, and anxiety can be made worse by the following:

  • Tuning into the news 24/7, which often focuses on the negative.
  • The situation is visually scary. Just going to the supermarket and looking out into a sea of masked people can be challenging.
  • Not being able to do what we normally do and see the people we normally see due to social distancing can worsen anxiety.
  • Many of us have lost some or all of our income, so we have money stress to contend with as well.

Social isolation and loneliness are associated with depression. We are social creatures and while it’s important to continue to practice social distancing, it’s also important to find ways to stay connected to help combat depression.

It’s also normal to feel bored or completely overwhelmed right now. Many of us aren’t working or are working fewer hours, but are unable to fill the extra time in ways we are used to or are struggling with feeling unproductive.

Many of us are now trying to juggle working from home, parenting and teaching our children, being supportive of our friends and family, and keeping ourselves safe. This can be especially taxing while feeling afraid and uncertain.

If you need help acknowledging and coping with pandemic-induced stress, check out the below webinar I recently hosted a webinar with my colleague Heidi Beer.

It’s okay to recognize that this is hard and challenging. If you need help, reach out to your Care Team at Vivacity Care Center for support.

7 mental health tips during quarantine

Fortunately, there are a lot of methods available that can help you prioritize your mental health during quarantine. Many of them are simpler than you would think. Here are some of the mental health tips I’ve been leaning on.

Limit your news intake

As I mentioned before, the news often focuses on the negative things that are happening in the world, which can feed into our fear and stress. It’s important to turn off the news during the day. After all, you will eventually hear about the most important pieces of news anyway.

I recommend tuning in to the news for no longer than 5 to 10 minutes in the morning and at night.

Be thoughtful on social media

Ask yourself why you are following certain people, groups, and organizations across your social media accounts. Now is a good time to make sure you’re connecting with those who will support what you believe in.

If you find yourself stressed on social media, ask yourself if a post is bringing you positivity or stress. You don’t have to unfriend people, but can unfollow them for now.

Create structure in your day

We are used to structure and routines, and in most cases we thrive with them. Just because your life is different now doesn’t mean it can’t have some structure to it. Find ways to incorporate parts of your old routine wherever you can.

If you’re working from home, there’s no transition from “work” to “home” and that can be really challenging. Create your own transition to come out of “work mode.” If you’re not working, try to wake up at the same time every day and create a morning ritual.

Get outside

Just because we are social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t go outside. Remember though, make sure to stay at least six feet away from others. Spending time in nature is extremely important for our well-being and our immune systems. It also has a wide range of other health benefits.

Get out for a daily walk in your neighborhood. As long as you are keeping your distance from others, you’re being safe.

Practice self-care

Right now, it’s important to enjoy the increased family time you may be experiencing, but it’s just as important to balance it with alone time.

And don’t feel guilty if you aren’t loving all this family time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, which is all the more reason to make some time for self-care.

Make your own self-care kit using the tips from Jessica Fritz, another behavioral health specialist at Vivacity Care Center.

Find ways to connect

It’s very likely that you are missing some of your loved ones and friends. Find ways to use video calls or phone calls to connect with people outside of your house. If you regularly go to the gym, have a book club, or host game night, you can find ways to create virtual spaces to keep these activities going!

Schedule time at least once a week to virtually socialize with people outside of your house.

Look for the good

With so much fear and anxiety around us, looking for the beautiful things that are happening around us is essential in maintaining mental health. It’s easy to get caught up in the news, but take time to find the good things that are happening in your life, community, and world.

Check on a regular basis to find some gems.

Above all, be gentle with yourself

As you integrate these mental health tips into your life, be patient with yourself and give yourself as much grace as you can.

And if you’re still struggling, take some advice from Mr. Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

Be a helper. Check in on your neighbors, community members, family, friends, and most importantly yourself.

Need mental health support? Vivacity Care Center can help.

Same- or next-day appointments are available.

Make an appointment
About Michele Bauer, LCSW

Michele is a licensed clinical social worker at the North Spokane Care Center. With a focus on mindfulness, Michele provides patients with fresh approaches for a rewarding life. She does this by developing strong relationships and a safe plan for people to engage in personal introspection.

Meet Michele Bauer, LCSW