Sunday, August 16, 2020

Tips for Self-Care While Practicing Physical Distancing


How to Care for Yourself While
Practicing Physical Distancing

If you are feeling overwhelmed or mentally exhausted because of changes to our society brought on by COVID-19, you’re not alone. The pandemic has impacted millions of Americans physically, mentally and emotionally.

People across the country are experiencing increased levels of stress and fear because of the new disease as well as feelings of isolation brought on by physical distancing. Research from the Kaiser Family Foundation says 45% of adults report feelings of worry and stress related to COVID-19 that have negatively impacted their mental health. Feelings of anxiety are becoming more common as people are worried about themselves or their loved ones getting sick.

The Mental Health First Aid Blog ( offers these easy self-care strategies to help reduce feelings of depression and prevent anxiety while social distancing:

1.    Eat healthfully to keep your body in top working order.

2.    Exercise reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety, whether we’re working out at home or taking a solo jog around the neighborhood.

3.    Practice relaxation therapy. Focusing on tensing and relaxing muscle groups can help you relax voluntarily when feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious.

4.    Let light in. Increased exposure to light can improve symptoms of depression. If you can, open the shades and let more sunlight in.

5.    Be kind to yourself! Treat yourself with the same compassion you would a friend.

6.    Stay connected. Even if you can’t get together face-to-face, you can stay connected to friends, family and neighbors with phone calls, text messages, video chats and social media. If you’re feeling lonely, sad or anxious, reach out to your social support networks. Share what you are feeling and offer to listen to friends or family members about their feelings. We are all experiencing this scary and uncertain time together.

7.    Monitor media consumption. While you might want to stay up-to the minute with COVID-19 news, too much exposure can be overwhelming. Balance media consumption with other activities you enjoy, such as reading, cooking or listening to music.