The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented circumstances that affect both our physical health and our mental health. Understanding when to seek care for our overall well-being is critical in order to care for and to protect those around us. Throughout the course of the pandemic, healthcare providers have learned how to operate safely and continue to provide necessary care for both physical and mental health needs while incorporating online support (such as telehealth appointments and web-based resources) into medical and behavioral health practices. Because serious diseases such as cancer do not stop for COVID-19, experts at the WISDOM Study offer these guidelines to learn when it’s important to seek medical care, when to get screened, and when you can wait.
Your Mental Health Matters
Finding healthy ways to cope with COVID-19 is important for you, your family, and your community. Tools like mindfulness improve quality of life and we’re sharing a tip from one of our community leaders, Dolores Moorehead, MS, APCC, who recommends the FACE COVID approach. Below we have summarized the steps and you can find more information here.
- F = Focus on what’s in your control. No matter how hard we try, we cannot dictate how the virus progresses or how our peers react. Let’s focus on what we can strive to improve: our behavior.
- A = Acknowledge your thoughts & feelings. Let’s admit it: We’re tired. We’re anxious. We’re grieving. Notice your feelings and acknowledge them.
- C = Come back into your body. Practice deep breathing or pressing your feet into the ground to connect with your physical self.
- E = Engage in what you’re doing. Take note of your environment and possible distractions. Then, dedicate your full attention to the task at hand.
- C = Committed action. Find something that truly matters to you and take part in it fully.
- O = Opening up. As the saying goes, “Treat yourself the way you want to be treated.”
- V = Values. What matters to you? Use your values as guidance and to motivate your committed action.
- I = Identify resources. Establish trusted, reliable sources for support and advice (e.g., friends, family, health professionals, emergency services)
- D = Disinfect & distance. Continue to frequently wash your hands and wear masks. Remain socially, but not emotionally, distanced.
Everyone deals with stress differently. The FACE COVID technique may not be the right one for you. If you are struggling amid the Coronavirus crisis, click here to find a list of the CDC’s resources to cope with stress.
If you are interested in helping us learn more about how you’re coping with COVID-related stressors, please take our COVID-19 survey by logging into your WISDOM Study portal here.
As always, please contact us at email@example.com with any questions. We wish you a safe and healthy New Year.
Written by Rashna Soonavala, WISDOM Study Research Assistant