Mental health as important as physical health during coronavirus outbreak


(KLFY) — Most of us are feeling anxiety and stress. As the governor has stated, it “will get worse before it gets better.” 

Taking care of our mental health is as important as taking care of our physical health so we can make wise decisions and take appropriate actions. It’s also important so we can filter and process information correctly.

If you find yourself unable to cope with the anxiety and stress, or if you feel like you are moving into a state of depression, Louisiana has set up a hotline. Call 1-866-310-7977 and counselors will help you. 

Below, you will also find tips on dealing with stress and anxiety and other local providers’ information. They are ready to help get us all through this crisis.

Ways to Handle Stress and Anxiety during COVID-19

  1. Stay informed of the facts and up to date information from your local news and local government press releases. Too much misinformation out there.
  2. While practicing social distancing- there are many virtual experiences online that can help with anxiety. Many gyms are using Zoom Cloud meetings to allow their members access to workouts by their instructors. YouTube has many free classes led by professionals in yoga, Zumba, belly dancing, and just about any other popular exercise/dance classes to follow along at home for those who don’t have gym memberships. Churches are offering streamed services.
  3. Pets — They are remarkable in times like this! Take your dog for a walk! It will benefit both of you.
  4. Meditation — focus on positive affirmations
  5. Deep Breathing Techniques for relaxation
  6. Create a spa environment in your own home! Take a candlelight bath and relax in lavender bath salts while playing spa music. Essential oils like lavender and  chamomile are wonderful for anxiety
  7. Make sure sleep and rest are a priority. Avoid excess caffeine intake which could increase anxiety or panic
  8. Keep diet healthy and don’t overdo it with alcohol. Keep under 1-2 drinks per day based on guidelines.
  9. Take advantage of this time to clean out your clutter! Make bags to donate to others who may be financially strapped during Covid-19.
  10. Curl up with a good book
  11. Make a craft
  12. Most importantly, focus on the things that are within your control. We worry about so many things that we can do nothing about! Give those worries up, turn them over to God or whoever your Higher Power may be.
  13. Pray! Pray! Pray!
  14. If anxiety and depression become unmanageable during this time, most mental health providers are offering telehealth services for their patients. Even if a person does not have internet or video capabilities at home, other options are available like telephone consultation during this time of crisis. 

The following take calls 24 hours a day:

  • Behavioral Health Resources in Response to Public Health Emergencies Office of Behavioral Health “Keep Calm through COVID” Line: 1-866-310-7977
  • Oceans Behavioral Hospital, 24/7 Central Intake Call Center: 800-451-7112
  • Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems, (337) 520-8245
  • Acadiana Psych Associates, LLC-outpatient telepsych services, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, Licensed Professional Counselors, most insurances accepted, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., 337-504-3697
  • Compass Health, 24/7 Central Intake Call Center: 1-888-640-5433

For more information, go here.

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