The coronavirus has become a term we hear numerous times a day. The newest statistics, the latest closures, and people in our communities becoming infected with the virus are part of every news segment we see. It is overwhelming for us to understand so much information on a constant basis. That also creates anxiety and fear in many of us, so what are some healthy ways to cope?
Practice normal and healthy habits. That boils down to staying at home when you are sick and keeping your distance from someone who is sick. Washing your hands on a regular basis while ensuring you use soap and water for at least 20 seconds while washing is also important. If you are not able to get to a sink, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for at least 20 seconds as well. You should maintain eating a balanced diet and try to get a good night of sleep each night. Exercising will also help to keep you mentally and physically healthy.
Avoid too much media. By binging on the television news, online stories or newspaper articles concerning the virus, you may become even more anxious and fearful. Limiting that time and simply checking once a day for an accurate update will help to lessen your anxiety.
Use your coping skills. The coronavirus has presented a new level of fear and anxiety for many of us. By utilizing those skills that have worked for us and trying some new ones, you can help to ease those feelings. Trying meditation techniques, working on breathing exercises or taking a walk in nature while being mindful of the surroundings are all different coping strategies to help you feel more mentally healthy. If your anxiety level becomes greater than you can control, be sure to make an appointment with a therapist or counselor to help you better cope. You can also reach out to the NAMI HelpLine on Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (CST) at 1-800-950-6264 or the Crisis Text Line is available 24/7 by texting 741741.
Lori Atkinson, Operations Director for The Kim Foundation
Lori Atkinson joined The Kim Foundation in May 2015. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in Middle Level Education. She was an 8th grade English teacher in the Omaha Public Schools from 1992 – 2000, a stay at home mom for several years, and then started a small non-profit in her husband’s memory during 2010. Lori carries out many duties for The Kim Foundation which includes: scheduling presentations in the community, hosting booths at conferences, managing the Art & Creative Writing Contest, coordinating the School Resource Fair, organizing the Suicide Prevention PSA Contest, assisting with the annual luncheon, and participating in the coalition’s community outreach group. Lori is the proud mom of three children and is actively involved in her church.