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Pandemics And Emotional Health

The CDC provides a lot of information and this is their overview of information about self-care during a traumatic event.

It is important to take care of your emotional health. Pay attention to how you and your family members are feeling and acting. Taking care of your emotional health will help you think clearly and react to urgent needs to protect yourself and your loved ones. Follow these tips to help you and your family recover or find support.

Steps to Care for Yourself
Take Care of Your Body – Try to eat healthy, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and other drugs.
Connect – Share your feelings with a friend or family member over the phone or with masks outside physically distanced. Maintain relationships and rely on your support system.
Take Breaks – Make time to unwind. Try modified versions of activities you enjoy.
Stay Informed – Watch for news updates from reliable officials. Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of the event.
Ask for Help – Talk to a clergy member, counselor, or doctor or contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

How to Help Your Children
Talk with them – Share age-appropriate information, reassure them, address rumors, answer questions

Set a good example by taking care of yourself
Limit exposure to media and social media coverage of the event

Common Signs of Distress:
Feelings of fear, anger, sadness, worry, numbness, or frustration
Changes in appetite, energy, and activity levels
Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes
Worsening of chronic health problems
Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

Seek help from your healthcare provider if these stress reactions interfere with your daily activities for several days in a row. A list of local and national resources is here. More stress and pandemic related info is here.