Coping with the constant coronavirus

Published 3:31 pm Wednesday, July 29, 2020

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Overwhelmed. Stressed. Depressed. These are all common reactions to the world as of late in the era of COVID-19.
As the virus continues to spread and constant coverage continues, emotions are all over the place, from fear of the unknown to information overload. 
According to Kristy Tipton, Division Director of Crisis Services for Frontier Health, maintaining your mental health is crucial during these times of uncertainty.
The first tip she recommends is information in small doses.
“Getting information in small bits from reputable sources is most important,” she explained. 
Tipton described that due to the onslaught of information regarding the virus from the media and social media, people may feel conflicted about all the information.
Limiting exposure to this information and choosing the best sources to get it from can help.
The second tip she recommends is taking a break.
“Get outside, get off the computer, get away from the television,” she said. “Continue social distancing, but do things like gardening, sit outside, go for a hike or a walk. I think that’s really helpful for a lot of people.”
In specific scenarios, she provided tips on what to do if someone you know has COVID, or if you do.
“Treat them like you would treat them with any other illness,” she said. “Be supportive.”
Tipton said activities like “porching,” which consists of leaving fun or needed items on the porch of someone who is ill, are highly recommended in supporting others.
Additionally, she said that people should utilize technology to maintain contact with others, FaceTiming for example. 
Above all, Tipton stressed that people need to be kind to one another.
Some of the risks involved in neglecting your mental health include increased risks of substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and feelings of isolation, as well as depression and anxiety.
Some of the effects on the body include headaches, loss of appetite, lack of sleep, nausea, etc. 
To help aid in mental health during this time, Frontier Health has established a COVID hotline and counseling services. This is available seven days a week from 12-10 p.m. This hotline can be reached at 1-833-4FH-COVID (434-2684).
“You are not alone. A lot of people are experiencing this and there is help available,” she said. “There’s a lot of support out there. We just need to come together.”
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. 

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