Maintaining Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus

The world feels like a scary place at the moment. We have the coronavirus impacting almost every aspect of life and Tender Heart Therapeutic Arts & Crafts is not immune to this impact. As you’ve probably seen on our Facebook, we have shut down our sessions to ensure the health and safety of each and every group member we serve. Check out our Facebook (link it here) to receive updates as we navigate this national emergency. 

As we move into the unknown of dealing with the impacts of this virus, we wanted to include a bonus post this month about the importance of focusing on your mental health during this time. Anxiety, confusion, hopelessness or helplessness, a sense of loss or aimlessness are just a few emotions you may be experiencing right now. Here’s some tips about stabilizing your mental health during this time of unknown:
Create a routine: Many daily routines have been impacted and changed due to the quarantining we are seeing across the country. You may be working from home or not working at all. In addition to financial stability, work can give us focus and purpose. Without it, anxiety and helplessness can increase. So, create a quarantine routine! By creating a focused schedule, even when you aren’t leaving the house, you are giving your brain control in a situation where control is lacking.

Recognize your ability to say no: We have seen a variety of opinions regarding the virus and importance of quarantining across the media and social media. When asked to engage with others in any setting, do what makes you comfortable! If you have a family outing scheduled, but the thought of following through makes you anxious, simply say no. If you typically work in an office with others and are feeling uncomfortable, talk to your boss. You are allowed your feelings.

Your feelings are valid: Going along with this last point, it’s important to give yourself grace at this time. Do not put yourself down if you are worried or feeling helpless. You are human! You are allowed to feel exactly how you do. The important piece of this is to recognize that these negative emotions will pass, and that we will all make it through this time together.

Learn to tune out social media: As we see an increase in the hoarding of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, we can see how detrimental hysteria is. When researching what is going on, consider your source. Make sure you are getting your news from a valid, proven resource, instead of whatever Aunt Linda is posting on Facebook. (We love you Aunt Linda!)  And, take a break. Research shows it takes our brain 5 positive things to counteract the impacts of 1 negative thing, so if you are researching the coronavirus and its’ impacts all day, you are going to have a difficult time reducing those negative emotions listed above.

Look at the silver linings, because they are there!: As in most situations, there are positives to this quarantine. What we are seeing is a mass response to the threat of illness to others. When we stop to think about it, it’s absolutely amazing that across the country, people are staying to themselves, refraining from gathering, and ensuring they do not spread this illness to loved ones, neighbors and strangers. Take the time to enjoy your family and pets and increase the amount of time doing the things that you love. 

As noted above, our Tender Heart staff have not been, and will not, attend sessions in our facilities until further notice, to ensure the safety and health of our clients. While we are all finding the silver linings and finding the positives in the situation, we also miss our clients dearly! Here’s some messages from our staff to our group members: 

  • “We miss you so much! We hope you stay healthy and we will be back as soon as possible.” 
  • “We miss & care about you very much & unfortunately, this is what we have to do but can’t wait to come back!” 
  • “We know that many of our residents love this song, so “Hey good lookin’, what ya got cooking!” We miss your smiling faces! 
  • “We want you to be nothing but happy and healthy, and we are looking forward to seeing you again! 

Stay safe and healthy!