The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) released this video to assist those of us who may be experiencing anxiety and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are some great tips here that you can implement in your daily life to help reduce stress and make the best of this situation.
Here are 8 tips directly from CAMFT regarding how you can reduce stress and anxiety:
Tip 1: Practice Acceptance
A global pandemic is not a usual occurrence. It makes sense that you are feeling uneasy. Allow for your feelings and allow for the reality of the situation. Also, allow for the fact that most of us are not in immediate danger, and that we’re working together to find solutions.
Tip 2: Make a Plan
Our brains get very overwhelmed in situations that are out of our control and have uncertain outcomes. Comfort yourself by controlling what you can. Be sure to wash your hands. Do what you need to feel safe and secure. Check out the Red Cross Safety and Readiness Guide here, and share your readiness plan with your family: http://bit.ly/REDCROSSSARG
Tip 3: Stay in the Present Moment
When we bring our mind into the present, and stop ruminating about the future or the past (what has gone wrong and what could go wrong) we realize that we’re ok. Make sure your mind is where your body is. Use a mantra if that’s helpful – “This too shall pass.”
Tip 4: Don’t Overexpose Yourself to the News
Repeatedly viewing or listening to the same scary story can really push your nervous system into full panic mode. Schedule just a few times a day to turn on the news or look at the internet, for about 20 minutes at a time. Set a timer to keep yourself from fixating on the scary stuff.
Tip 5: Pay Attention to your Body
Our brains and our bodies are intricately connected. We feel better emotionally when we feel physically rested. Make sure you are eating healthy, getting a little exercise, and practicing good sleep hygiene.
Tip 6: Practice Deep, Slow Breathing
When you practice deep, slow breathing, you’ll feel less anxious, because your lungs will send a message through your Vagus nerve to your brain that all is well. Practice breathing ‘In’ for a count of six, and breathing ‘Out’ for a count of six, for one full minute or more.
Tip 7: Stay Connected
We are biologically wired to connect with one another, and there is real healing power in connecting with other people who are struggling in similar ways. Even though you may not want to spend time with big groups or see people in person, make sure you’re not isolating more than necessary.
Tip 8: Keep a Balanced Perspective
Even in the most challenging times, we can find a few aspects of our lives that are going well. It is important to focus on the good in times of struggle. If you realize you haven’t laughed or smiled in a while, watch a funny TV show or call a friend who makes you laugh, and remember that the world isn’t all bad. Sometimes, even in the midst of crisis, we can find silver linings.
If you are in need of mental health assistance, there are few options through Dots health plan:
The Employee Assistance Program
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available when you face health, personal, family or work-related challenges. You and your family can receive confidential counseling and referrals at no cost. For more information and to schedule an appointment, visit www.paseap.com or call (800) 356-0845 (Company ID 0291).
The Chaplain Program
The Chaplain Program offers free support and guidance to all Mt. Sterling employees. You can speak privately to a chaplain over the phone or in person about specific mental health issues that may be weighing on your mind. Simply download the free MyChap App and speak with your chaplain via phone or text. You can also access additional resources through the “Connect” section on the app.
If you are looking for some mental health support, you can use MDLIVE. Talk to a certified doctor from the comfort of your home and obtain a prescription if needed. The cost of these calls starts at $80 per visit. Payment can be made with your HSA debit card or other charge card. You can access MDLIVE by visiting www.mdlive.com or calling 1-888-676-4204.
If you have any questions about how Dot’s benefits can assist you during this time, please reach out to your HR manager.