2020 was a hard year, and this year is not seeming to be much different so far. It can be hard; especially on your mind and body causing negative results. But it’s important you stay strong. Your mind and body are intertwined in health and optimism. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Helen Keller
Take care of your body!
Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Have you ever heard of five on five? The military use it as an exercise to calm themselves in a stressful situation. Breathe in for five, breathe out for five.
Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Since food helps fuel your body, it is important to be mindful of the nutrition choices you are making. Many doctors believe that maintaining a healthy diet is a crucial component to keeping your energy levels high, improving brain function, and warding off diseases. Eating nutritious foods provide the right number of vitamins and minerals and balance of carbohydrates and fats to help your body feel good. Recognize If You’re Eating When You’re Bored or Anxious
You may be feeling additional stress, another key reason to focus on your health. Making sure that you are taking care of yourself with nutrition, physical activity, and getting enough sleep is extra important right now. Physical health can be tied directly to that stress.
Exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.
Maintain your healthcare routine. If you have medications prescribed for any condition, be sure to take them as directed by your provider. Chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma and many others should be kept in check with taking your medications as prescribed. Be sure to reach out to your healthcare team with any concerns as well. In the age of COVID-19, telehealth solutions are available if you want to speak with a provider about a health concern unrelated to COVID-19. Madigan patients, for instance, can still utilize Secure Messaging in the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal to request an appointment or call the Puget Sound Military Appointment Center at 1-800-404-4506 to schedule a telehealth appointment.
Take care of your mind!
Cope with stress and anxiety! Positively cope with stress and anxiety induced by new precautions we must all now take to combat the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Positive coping mechanisms include exercise, meditation, reading, further developing certain skills or hobbies etc. Use this era to increase your daily repetition of these positive activities and develop new or even better routines than you may have adhered to prior to the emergence of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Stay connected. Talking with loved ones while in isolation can help reduce the anxiety and instances of feeling down. Take time to utilize the multitudes of technologies and apps (many free) that can help you stay in touch with those you love. Our busy lives before the COVID-19 may have limited how often we connected with distant loved ones, now’s the time to fully exploit these modern capabilities for fellowship, companionship, and camaraderie.
Stay informed but set limits for news and social media. The constant stream of information about COVID-19 can be overwhelming. I can also make you feel unnecessarily worried. If it does, find ways to moderate what information you choose to take in, and when. For example, you could set aside a short time slot every day or two, to look out for important updates.
Online and phone supports. Face-to-face services might be limited at the moment because of the COVID-19 outbreak. But some services are providing online and phone services.
Offer someone in need your support. Sometimes the best way to heal or remain optimistic, is to offer your support to another. Helping others is not only good for them and a good thing to do, it also makes us happier and healthier too. Giving also connects us to others, creating stronger communities and helping to build a happier society for everyone. If you know of someone who is struggling mentally, sometimes the best medicine is a friend to talk to and share with.
If you or someone you know needs more, here are some of the many local sites who can offer more support:
In San Diego: up2sd.org; Contact: 888- 724-7240 or namisandiego.org; Contact: 1-800-523-5933
In Los Angeles: namila.org; Contact: 310-889-7200 or Mhala.org; Contact: 562-285-1330
In Northern CA.: namisanjoaquin.org; Contact: 209-468-3755 or sjcbhs.org; Contact: 209 468-8842