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:
- 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.
- Stay connected with others and maintain your social networks. Go for a walk and wave to your neighbors from six feet away. Ask them 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
There are resources available if you are struggling with depression or anxiety during this stressful time:
- Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety Toolkit
- Resources to support mental health and coping with the coronavirus outbreak
- Local Mental Health Resources
If you are in crisis, don’t hesitate to call the 24-Hour Crisis Line at 866–427–4747 or text HEAL to 741741 to get confidential text access to a trained crisis counselor any time of the day or night.
Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions during a disaster or an outbreak like the COVID-19 pandemic. To talk with a trained crisis counselor from the Disaster Distress Helpline call 1-800-985-5990 or text "TalkWithUs" to 66746.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522.