By Jenina Madrid

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has certainly been in everyone’s minds lately. With feelings of uncertainty, worry and stress, people can feel overwhelmed and create strong emotions. If you or someone you care about feel fear or worry; have changes in sleep or eating; have difficulty sleeping; have difficulty concentrating; increased use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco or other substances; and worsening mental health conditions, coping with these will help you or someone you care about make you feel stronger.

Some ways to cope are:

Take breaks from news stories or social media about the pandemic. Repeatedly reading, watching or listening about the pandemic can be upsetting.

Take care of your body by trying to eat healthy, balanced meals, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep.

Taking care of ourself mentally by taking deep breaths, stretching or meditating.

Avoid alcohol and drugs.

Creating a set routine.

Make time to have a balance by unwinding or trying other activities you enjoy.

Connect with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling, especially if you are feeling isolated.

Find positive messages

Sometimes people might feel worsening mental health conditions such as feeling overwhelmed with sadness, depression, anxiety or wanting to harm self or others, please use your local crisis resources to get the help that you or someone you love needs.

Colorado Crisis Services: 1-844-493-8255 or text “Talk” to 38255

Substance Use Hotlines: 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-800-289-0879

Trevor Project for LGBT youth: 1-866-488-7386 or Text “Start” to 678678

How you respond can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in. Understanding the virus and risk can also help make social distancing less stressful. To get accurate information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website or your local healthcare provider.

Just know that you and your community will get through the outbreak! If you need additional support or have questions, please call A Kidz Clinic at 970-874-2753.

Jenina Madrid, LPC, is with A KIDZ Clinic.

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