Caring For Your Mental Health
Social distancing, the constant flood of news through multiple sources of media, and uncertainty about the future can trigger anxiety and depression. If you find yourself lonely, stressed, or anxious pay attention to these emotions and take action:
- Take frequent breaks from social media and new stories. Avoid watching, reading, or listening to news reports that cause you to feel anxious or distressed. A near-constant stream of news is not calming. Seek out information from reliable sources like the Washington State Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just a couple of times a day. Fact check what you see on social media. Spread good information.
- Take care of your body by adding the following to your daily routine: deep breathing or meditation, eating healthy and well-balanced meals, exercising, taking a walk, get enough sleep, and avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and other substances.
- Stay connected with others and maintain your social networks. Go for a walk with a friend from six feet away. Ask your neighbors if they are well and if they need anything.
- Introduce structure into your day. Structure and routine may be helpful for people with mental health vulnerabilities, especially during times of uncertainty. Even if you are working from home or if your life looks completely different right now, try to maintain familiar routines in daily life as much as possible. Maybe we’ll feel better if we shower, get dressed, and eat breakfast.
Stress during an infectious outbreak can include:
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health conditions
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
Get immediate help in a crisis
There are resources available if you are struggling with depression or anxiety during this stressful time:
- Call 911
- Disaster Distress Helpline: call or text 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish).
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish, or Lifeline Crisis Chat
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
- National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or Online Chat
- The Eldercare Locator: 1-800-677-1116 TTY Instruction
- Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Crisis Chat or text: 8388255
Find a health care provider or treatment for substance use disorder and mental health
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and TTY 1-800-487-4889
- Treatment Services Locator Website
- Interactive Map of Selected Federally Qualified Health Centers