The COVID-19 situation in our community can be very stressful on everyone. Many people are self-quarantining, and this may impact mental well-being. Everyone at times may need various levels of help and support, and no one has to go through this time alone.
“As we all work hard to eliminate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we may need assistance to get through this difficult time, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that,” said Tim Ellis, City Manager.
The City of Goodlettsville has compiled the following information that may assist you through these tough times.
Take care of your physical health to help lower your stress. Take a break to focus on positive parts of your life and your loved ones.
Family and friends: signs/symptoms, ways of coping, and tips for taking care of yourself
- Knowing some of the signs and symptoms of stress
What follows are behavioral, physical, emotional, and cognitive responses that are all common signs of anxiety and stress. You may notice some of them after you learn about an infectious disease outbreak.
Your Behavior - An increase or decrease in your energy and activity levels, an increase in your alcohol, tobacco use, or use of illegal drugs, an increase in irritability, with outbursts of anger and frequent arguing, having trouble relaxing or sleeping, crying frequently, worrying excessively, wanting to be alone most of the time, blaming other people for everything, having difficulty communicating or listening, having difficulty giving or accepting help, inability to feel pleasure or have fun
Your Body - Having stomachaches or diarrhea, having headaches and other pains, losing your appetite or eating too much, sweating or having chills, getting tremors or muscle twitches, being easily startled
Your Emotions - Being anxious or fearful, feeling depressed, feeling guilty, feeling angry, feeling heroic, euphoric, or invulnerable, not caring about anything, feeling overwhelmed by sadness
Your Thinking - Having trouble remembering things, feeling confused, having trouble thinking clearly and concentrating, having difficulty making decisions
- Stress Management and Healthy ways of coping
Keep things in perspective – Set limits on how much time you spend reading or watching news about the outbreak. You will want to stay up to date on the news of the outbreak, particularly if you have loved ones in places where many people have gotten sick. But make sure to take time away from the news to focus on things in your life that are going well and that you can control.
Get the Facts – Find people and resources you can depend on for accurate health information. Learn from them about the outbreak and how you can protect yourself against illness. Facebook and other social media are not a place to be looking for facts.
Keep Yourself Healthy - Eat healthy foods, and drink water, avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol, do not use tobacco or illegal drugs, get enough sleep and rest, get physical exercise.
Use practical ways to relax - Relax your body often by doing things that work for you. Take deep breaths, stretch, meditate, wash your face and hands, or engage in pleasurable hobbies. Pace yourself between stressful activities, and do a fun thing after a hard task. Use time off to relax, eat a good meal, read, listen to music, take a bath, or talk to family. Talk about your feelings to loved ones and friends often.
Pay Attention to Your Body, Feelings, and Spirit - Recognize and heed early warning signs of stress. Recognize how your own past experiences affect your way of thinking and feeling about this event, and think of how you handled your thoughts, emotions, and behavior around past events. Know that feeling stressed, depressed, guilty, or angry is common after an event like an infectious disease outbreak, even when it does not directly threaten you. Connect with others who may be experiencing stress about the outbreak. Talk about your feelings about the outbreak, share reliable health information, and enjoy conversation unrelated to the outbreak, to remind yourself of the many important and positive things in your lives. Take time to renew your spirit through meditation, prayer, or helping others in need.
Take care of your physical health to help lower your stress. Take a break to focus on positive parts of your life, like connections with loved ones.
Children: signs/symptoms, ways of coping, and tips for taking care of yourself
Regardless of your child’s age, he or she may feel upset or have other strong emotions during or after this is over. Some children react right away, while others may show signs of difficulty much later. How a child reacts, and the common signs of distress can vary according to the child’s age, previous experiences, and how the child typically copes with stress. Children react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with a disaster calmly and confidently, they, can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.
- Common Reactions
For Infants to 2-Year-Olds - Infants may become crankier. They may cry more than usual or want to be held and cuddled more.
For 3 to 6-Year-Olds - They may have toileting accidents, bed-wetting, tantrums and a hard time sleeping, or be frightened about being separated from their parents/caregivers.
For 7 to 10-Year-Olds - Older children may feel sad, mad, or afraid that the event will happen again. Correct all misinformation the child may get from others.
For Preteens and Teenagers - Some preteens and teenagers respond to trauma by acting out or feeling afraid to leave the home. Their overwhelming emotions may lead to increased arguing and even fighting with siblings, parents/caregivers or other adults.
For Special Needs Children - Children with physical, emotional, or intellectual limitations may have stronger reactions to a threatened or actual disaster. Children with special needs may need extra words of reassurance, more explanations about the event, and more comfort and other positive physical contact such as hugs from loved ones.
- Helping Children Cope
Set a good example by managing your own stress through healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and avoiding drugs and alcohol. When you are prepared, rested, and relaxed, you can respond better to unexpected events and can make decisions in the best interest of your loved ones.
Assure your children that you are prepared to keep them safe.
Talk to your children about what is happening in a way that they can understand. Keep it simple and appropriate for each child’s age.
Give your children opportunities to talk about what they went through. Encourage them to share concerns and ask questions.
Encourage your children to take action directly related to the this so they feel a sense of control. For example, children can help others afterwards, such as volunteering to help community or family members in a safe environment.
Share Information - Because parents, teachers, and other adults see children in different situations, it is important for them to work together to share information about how each child is coping after a traumatic event.
Structure - Help your children to have a sense of structure, which can make them feel more at ease or provide a sense of familiarity. Once schools and childcare reopen, help them return to their regular activities.
If you feel you need to talk to someone or seek further assistance, below are some helpful resources.
CRISIS HOT-LINE: 800-273-8255
MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA
Screenings for anxiety, depression, trauma, etc.
REFUGE CENTER: 615-591-5262
Stay the course and stay calm, because we are Goodlettsville and we will overcome.