Social Distancing and Mental Health
We need each other. Being isolated from other people can make our physical and mental health worse and can especially trigger anxiety and depression. Especially if you live alone, social distancing is hard on our bodies and our emotions. And when we add to that the worries about unknownswill I get sick? Will someone I love get sick? What will happen to my job?we layer on
additional stresses to our physical and mental health.
If you find yourself lonely, stressed, or anxious, pay attention to these emotions and take action:
1. Avoid watching, reading, or listening to news reports that cause you to feel anxious or distressed. A near-constant stream of news is not calming. Seek out information from reliable sources like the Washington State Department
of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just a couple times a day. Factcheck what you see on social media. Spread good information.
2. Stay connected with others and maintain your social networks. Go for a walk and wave to your neighbors from six feet away. Ask them if they are well and if they need anything.
3. Introduce structure into your day. Structure and routine may be helpful for people with mental health vulnerabilities, especially during times of uncertainty. Even if you are working from home or if your life looks completely
different right now, try to maintain familiar routines in daily life as much as possible. Maybe we"ll feel better if we shower, get dressed, and eat breakfast.