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Tips for Managing Psychological Health and Self-Care During the Coronavirus Pandemic

In a time when many are overwhelmed, here are a few tips from the CDC and WHO for managing self-care.

The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can be stressful and may cause anxiety. In a time when many are overwhelmed, here are a few tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) for managing self-care.

For the General Population

  • Stay informed, but take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news that causes you to feel anxious or distressed. Seek information from trusted sources to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and your loved ones. Facts can help minimize fear. Set aside specific times once or twice during the day to seek out news, rather than consuming a constant stream of information.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some activities you enjoy, such as reading or talking to loved ones by phone and/or video chat.
  • Protect yourself and be supportive to others. Check-in by phone on neighbors or people in your community who may need some extra assistance. Working together as one community can help create solidarity.

For Children and Teens

  • Take time to talk with your child or teen about COVID-19. Answer questions in a way that your child or teen can understand.
  • Let your child or teen know it is OK if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so they can learn from you about how to cope.
  • Try to keep up with regular routines. Because schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
  • Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members by phone, video chat, email or social media.

For Healthcare Workers

  • Stay rested and eat well. We know it’s easier said than done, but try to get sufficient rest between shifts, eat healthy food and engage in physical activity when you can.
  • Stay connected with your loved ones. Maintain contact with family and friends through digital methods. Turn to your colleagues, managers and other trusted people for social support.
  • Ensure good quality communication and accurate information updates are provided to all staff. Rotate workers from higher-stress to lower-stress functions. Partner inexperienced workers with their more experienced colleagues. The buddy system helps to provide support, monitor stress and reinforce safety procedures.

For more tips and information, visit the CDC and WHO websites.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.