March 25, 2020
There is an abundance of information coming at us at a rapid rate surrounding Coronavirus. This may bring many different emotions or feelings. You may also find these emotions or feelings change just as rapidly as the information you are receiving. One piece of information I received this week stood out to me, so I wanted to share it with you.
The article starts out by discussing how we as human beings react to the unknown. It is normal to feel stressed during a time when we do not feel we have control over our own safety or not knowing what will or could happen. While stress is our body’s way of helping us respond, too much worrying and feeling not in control can have a negative toll on our bodies physically and mentally. If you are struggling, or see others struggling, here are some things you can do.
1. Separate what is within your control from what is not—such as being diligent in keeping yourself and others around you safe such as washing your hands, maintaining healthy patterns of sleep, eating, physical and mental activities and water consumption. This may even mean limiting the amount of news you take in—pick one or two trusted sources in order to stay up to date.
2. Do what helps you feel safe—while this will vary from individual to individual, do what works for you and avoid comparing yourself to someone else.
3. Get outside—Take a walk or any other activity you enjoy doing outdoors.
4. Stay in the present—worrying about the current situation in addition to wondering what is going to happen in the future compounds the worry. While it is natural to find yourself worrying about the future, remind yourself to focus on the present. Being mindful of your surroundings, such as noticing smells, sounds and other sensory experiences helps to bring the present back in focus.
5. Stay connected and reach out to people you trust and can feel supported by. Discuss with them what you are feeling. If this may not help, seek help from a mental health professional.
This information was taken from the article, Protecting Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Outbreak, from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. If you are feeling alone and struggling, you can reach out to The Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741 or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. These resources are open to anyone and any situation, not just those who are having thoughts of suicide.
I wanted to also share a dedicated website Montana State University Extension has created with information from trusted resources regarding COVID-19. It is located at https://msuextension.org/covid19/. In addition, in the right sidebar, you will see a link to “Publications”. Clicking on this link will take you to a list of available items you might be interested in. Specifically, the “MontGuides” link will take you to all the research-based information booklets or fact sheets covering many different topics. Keep your brain active and see what new information you can find.
To learn more or receive print copies of any of the above information, contact Janell at the Chouteau County Extension Office at 622-3036, firstname.lastname@example.org or in the green building next to the Chouteau County Courthouse at 1308 Franklin St in Fort Benton.
Follow us on Facebook @ChouteauCountyExtension to keep up to date on what is happening in Chouteau County Extension and 4-H.
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