Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, the Director of the Ohio Department of Health, made the order back in March for everyone not employed in essential work to stay at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been nearly a month since that order has gone into effect, and the positive results are already being seen, with Ohio’s number of COVID-19 cases not rising as high as previously anticipated. However, being unable to move about as freely as we are used to can be pretty stressful. This blog will delve a little into how to take care of your mental health while still complying with the stay-at-home order.
First, this bit of advice from the World Health Organization. Minimize watching, reading, or listening to news about COVID-19 that causes you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information only from trusted sources so that you can take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and your loved ones. Seek information updates at specific times during the day, once or twice. The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried. Get the facts, not rumors and misinformation. Gather information regularly from the WHO website and local health authority platforms to help you distinguish facts from rumors. Facts can help to minimize fear.
Second, do your best to bring a positive attitude to the situation. Set a good example by showing empathy and support to those who are ill. Participate in a community response, such as chalking the sidewalk, creating rainbows, or hanging hearts in windows.
If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available. Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 (1-800-846-8517 TTY); connect with a trained counselor through the Ohio Crisis Text Line by texting the keyword “4HOPE” to 741 741, or call the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services helpline at 1-877-275-6364 to find resources in your community.