5 Resources: Mental Health During Social Distancing

As we've heard from Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot, it's important for all Chicagoans to social distance and help to "flatten the curve" to prevent more illness. We can all do our part to help protect our more vulnerable neighbors and get through the COVID-19 crisis together. But while this is the way to ensure our physical health, social distancing can affect our mental health. You may feel lonely or isolated, and may be having a hard time. Here are 5 resources that can help your mental health during social distancing.

This may be a confusing and anxious time for you and your family. The Centers for Disease Control has tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety during COVID-19, including guidance for parents on how to talk to teens and children, responders who are working on the front lines and people who have been released from quarantine. 

Many people rely on Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to stay sober or stop drinking. While in-person meetings are not available, you can still attend meetings online. Explore a variety of digital meetings and methods, including email, video chat, text and phone. 

Vibrant Emotional Health's Safe Space offers a variety of resources for adults and teens. You can access digital tools for connection, coping and distraction, including breathing exercises, calming nature sounds and more.

If you find yourself struggling and need to talk to someone, NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness, has a telephone helpline  at (800) 950-6264 as well as help via text by texting NAMI to 741741. Be sure to check out their suggestions for Mental Health Coping Strategies for Coronavirus.

Working up a sweat can help beat the blues and keep your mood positive. For anyone, but especially older adults, who are used to going to the gym every day for exercise and social time, the National Institute on Aging has exercises and videos to guide you through a safe workout at home.

Want to help spread the word about mental health during COVID-19? The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has great tips and shareable social media images at their Mental Health & COVID-19 page. 

Don't be afraid to reach out to family, friends and neighbors during social distancing. Call, text, email or use tools to video chat. Remember, we're all in this together! Do you have tips on mental health during social distancing? Share them in the comments.

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