If you are experiencing emotional distress or just need someone to talk to during these difficult times, don’t delay getting help. Call the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline at (800) 985-5990. It’s available 24/7 for mental health and social well-being counseling. Or, for help finding a provider, call the Anthem Blue Cross Behavioral Health Resource Center, available 24/7 at (844) 792-5141.
During these stressful times, it may be harder than usual to apply self-care. Your eating habits may have changed. Your regular exercise routine may be interrupted. You might be sleeping less or not sleeping well. You may feel depressed or overly anxious and be increasing alcohol consumption or using substances to cope.
Feeling anxious right now is a normal reaction to extreme circumstances. It’s important not to ignore what you’re feeling and to get help if you need it. The steps you take to care for yourself today are crucial to your long-term well-being. But if you’re finding it extra hard to do so, you’re not alone—we’re all in this together. If you’re feeling anxious, try these steps to help you get through it:
Eat well, exercise, limit alcohol, drink more water and make sleep a priority. Create a new routine around activities that you enjoy and stick to it.
Limit your exposure to the news. 24/7 access to COVID-19 news can feed your stress. Unplug from media to help stave off unnecessary worry. Read or listen to it when it’s not in the way of your daily routine, and skip the news right before bedtime.
Stay connected to friends and family online or by phone. Connecting with them is super important, and it’s useful to hear how they are coping with their own concerns and anxiety. Explore these creative ways to stay connected while keeping apart.
Talk to your kids and grandkids. If you have young children in your home, take their concerns about COVID-19 seriously. Talk to them about the plans in place to keep everyone safe and healthy, and what experts are advising. Model the reactions, precautions and attitudes you want to see in them. The CDC has some tips for a positive conversation.
Talk to Someone
It’s OK not to feel OK. Tap into these no-cost resources to talk about your worries, concerns and fears judgment-free:
LiveHealth Online Psychology. Visit with a therapist through online video or by phone. (Currently, there is no cost to you for this service.)
myStrength for help with depression, anxiety and substance misuse disorder. Get evidence-based, personalized programs to help you with everyday struggles and to improve and maintain your overall well-being.
Faculty and staff assistance programs. Confidential employee assistance services are available through UC. For a list of services by location, go to ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/contacts/faculty-staff-assistance-programs.html.