Caring for Your Mental Health
Feelings of worry, irritability and low mood are normal during an infectious disease pandemic, like COVID-19. The added stress can affect people even when they are not in an area greatly impacted by the disease or have little to no risk of getting sick. In times like these, it is important to be aware of how stress is affecting you and your loved ones.
What can you do to deal with uncertainty?
The response to the COVID-19 is a fluid and evolving situation with many unknowns. It can be easy to become overwhelmed and feel the stress caused by uncertainty. Separating what is in your control from what is not is a healthy way to cope. You can:
- Set boundaries with the amount of time you spend watching the news. Consider going to websites, such as the CDC, Coronavirus in California and ShastaReady.org, where you can get information on your own terms, instead of getting caught up in the constant news cycle.
- Take breaks from social media and/or commit to using it only to stay in touch with friends or loved ones.
- Redirect your energy to helping out others. Helping someone in their time of need benefits both the supporter and the helper. Find creative ways to connect and assist others while practicing social distancing.
- Know who you can turn to and help you deal with the stress. If you are having difficulty getting in touch with your circle of support, you can call the California Peer-Run Warmline for emotional support (non-emergency) or the Disaster Distress Line to be connected with a trained crisis counselor. Both hotlines are free.
What can you do to cope with stress?
Everyone experiences stress differently and it affects our bodies, thoughts and emotions. Healthy ways to deal with stress include:
- Keeping your daily routine even if it looks different for now. Focus on the simple things. Remember to eat, shower, sleep, play, etc.
- Getting outside and into nature. This could be as simple as watching a sunset, walking the dog or going for a hike. All of these things are possible to do while practicing social distancing.
- Remembering to bring yourself back into the present when you are stuck worrying about what could happen. Mindfulness tools, such as breathing, guided meditation or journaling about the things you are grateful for are all ways to think about the present moment.
What should you do if the stress becomes overwhelming?
If you are experiencing intense signs of stress for several days or even weeks, schedule an appointment with a mental health professional. You can get help by calling the Hill Country CARE Center or Shasta County Mental Health. If you or someone you know threatens to hurt themselves or others, talks or writes about death, dying or suicide, call 911 or use the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Remember to practice social distancing and call first before visiting a clinic.
- Shasta County Mental Health Access: To access mental health services 24-hours a day, call (530) 225-5252 or (888) 385-5201 between the hours of 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday.
- Hill Country C.A.R.E. Center: Urgent outpatient mental health services 365 days a year. Drop in during clinic hours or call (530) 691-4446. Hours: Noon - 9 PM Monday through Friday and 11 AM - 9 PM on weekends.
- Burney Health Center Outpatient and crisis mental health services for people living in eastern Shasta County. Call (530) 335-5457 between the hours of 7 AM - 7 PM Monday through Thursday and 7 AM - 5 PM on Fridays.
- Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
- Non Emergency Crisis Support: Hill Country Mobile Crisis Team (530) 238-7133
- Shasta County Mental Health Access - (530) 225-5252 24-hours toll free (888) 385-5201 California Relay Service 7-1-1
- Patient’s Rights Advocate: (530) 225-5506 Shasta Regional Medical Center : (530) 244-5400
- Mercy Medical Center: (530) 225-6000
- Mayers Memorial Hospital (530) 336-5511
More Shasta County mental health resources can be found by calling 2-1-1 or online at 211norcal.org/shasta.
Other helpful resources: