x

Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

How to protect your mental health in the midst of COVID-19

Given the current circumstances, of having to practice physical distancing and self-isolation, it's understandable many of us are feeling anxious.

TAMPA, Fla. — As COVID-19 continues to disrupt our daily lives, our producers noticed a spike in searches for mental health-related information.

Given the current circumstances, of having to practice physical distancing and self-isolation, it's understandable many of us are feeling anxious.

Continue to see your therapist

Ariel Williams, a therapist in St. Petersburg, Fla., says if you are seeing a therapist, it’s important that you keep the line of communication open with them, and to make sure you’ve filled your prescriptions.

“Talk to your therapist. Call them email them also, ensure if you are on some sort of antidepressants or psychotropic medications, ensure that you have a 90-day supply,” said Williams.

Williams also noted that she’s seeing a lot of therapists starting to offer services via TeleHealth. If TeleHealth is an option for you, she said to check to see if your insurance covers those services, and ask your therapist if they are offering discounted rates at this time.

Meditate

Another option to keep your anxiety level low is to practice meditation. Liz Creech, who is also a therapist, recommends checking out the site, Calm.

“It provides stress meditation and soothing stories.”

Creech suggest incorporating EFT into your daily mix.

“They can learn to do Emotional Freedom Technique, which is called tapping, and that's really helpful for anxiety and depression as well. They're offered everywhere. And it's free. You can see it on YouTube and Facebook.

Practice self-care

Lynn Dorman, a counselor in the Tampa Bay area, suggests using this time of self-isolation to practice self-care.

“Focus on you. This may be a great space for us, as Americans to reduce the frenzy in our lives,” she said.

“We're an over committed population of people. We commit to play dates. We work, two and three jobs. We see stores that have to be shopped. This may be the time for us to bring that frenzy down.”

To put this all into perspective, Dorman explained we should try to use this time to nourish our spirit.

“Creating a space in your home or apartment or wherever you live, that feels good,” she said.

“Creating rituals, in terms of getting up in the morning and in writing in gratitude journals, reading things, nourishing our minds with good stuff on TV, good stories, good movies, and not kind of rushing through life. Like we're on a fast train to nowhere. I encourage us all to take this space to bring strategy to a lower level.”

How are you taking this moment to practice self-care?

Share your stories with us on any of our social media platforms.

RELATED: Here's how to avoid stress while working from home

RELATED: 30 new things to watch, read and try while you're staying at home

RELATED: Fitness and yoga studios are taking precautions amid the COVID-19 pandemic