SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Social distancing, the main thing being asked of the general public to prevent COVID-19, is taking a toll on people’s mental health.
“I’m not making the commute to work so, there’s not that mental shift of, ‘I’m in a new place now. It’s time to start working,'” said Payton Stringer, Campaignium Content team lead. “So I definitely expect the longer this lasts, the longer it’s going to have an impact on those who are working from home just because there’s not that sense of regularity. My coworkers aren’t here. It’s just me and my dog.”
The Burell Behavioural Health Center says people still need to connect with other people even when they are stuck in their homes.
“You’ve got to find ways to keep your day structured,” said C.J. Davis, Burrel Behavioral Health President & CEO. “You can’t park yourself in front of the TV. you can’t park yourself in front of social media. It’ll make you feel worse in the end. We really have to practice good mental hygiene. mental hygiene is sleeping right, eating right, staying away from substances. make sure you do some physical activity.”
You can stay connected by texting or calling your friends and family and to make sure you’re sharing what you’re feeling with those loved ones. Davis says it’s best to not turn the day into a lazy day in front of the TV.
“The biggest thing for me, in order to keep structure, is just, kind of, doing the same things that I’ve already been doing,” Stringer said. “So I still get up and get dressed and do my makeup in the morning. I try to keep the same time whenever I’m waking up.”
Davis says social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation.
He also says the best way to combat negative thoughts is to not dwell on the uncertainty of it all.
“You’ve got to figure out ways to keep your day structured,” Davis said. “You can’t park yourself in front of the TV. You can’t park yourself in front of social media. It’ll make you feel worse in the end. We really have to practice good mental hygiene. Mental hygiene is sleeping right, eating right, staying away from substances. Make sure you do some physical activity.”
If you need to talk about your mental health surrounding the coronavirus climate, call the Burrel Behavioral Health crisis line at 1-800-494-7355.