Many of us have concerns around managing a high level of well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are a few techniques to help you practice self-care which are essential ingredients to a healthy lifestyle.
1. How can I manage fears and anxiety?
Be sure to get the facts from a reputable source like the Centers for Disease Control. Limit your time watching and listening to media coverage. Control your assumptions about others. Practice healthy habits to keep yourself well. If you are feeling overwhelmed, seek help.
At UNM, available resources are Student Health and Counseling to support students, Counseling, Assistance and Referral Services (CARS), or Employee Wellness to support faculty and staff. If you feel more comfortable, there is also outside support in protecting your mental health during the Coronavirus Outbreak.
The news about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) can create anxiety and concerns for many. The New Mexico Crisis and Access Line has created a tip sheet outlining information that can assist you in being prepared and their staff is available to support individuals and communities during this time. As a professional mental health line, they maintain a solution focused approach built on validation, normalization, and access to resources. They are prepared to appropriately respond not only to mental health concerns, but also the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. Call 24/7 at 855-662-7474. They are ready to listen.
2. What nutrition advice should I follow, especially if I am self-quarantined/staying at home?
Wash your hands frequently, including before and after eating:
It’s a good idea to keep some food on hand for self-quarantine or self-isolation:
Choose easy to make recipes that you can prepare with pantry staples:
3. Gym Closed… What do I do now?
No matter the time of year, your local gym should always practice proper cleaning procedures and basic hygiene to ensure the health of its members. However, now that New Mexico gyms are closed for a duration of time to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus, here are some resources to keep you moving.
At-home workouts are a great option.
There are plenty of free workouts you can follow online with little to no equipment needed. Check out the Employee Wellness YouTube channel for movements you can do not only at your desk, but at home, too. and join our noon time Zoom workouts.
4. I am watching too much TV!
Take a digital break. Do your best to manage your anxiety and find a healthy balance by keeping a level perspective. Maintain a healthy respect for the virus without panic and focus on the things you can control.
If you find yourself spinning off into all the “What ifs?” be proactive by bringing yourself into the present, be as prepared as you can and then accept that you are doing all that you can do.
Limit your exposure to the constant cycle of news. Maintain healthy boundaries and find your own “Off Switch.” Even with everything going on, life doesn’t stop. At times like this it’s more important than ever to savor the moments in life you enjoy and find fulfilling.
5. What can I do to understand and not worry about the rapid changes in my and my family’s financial security?
If you find yourself in immediate financial hardship, visit the State of New Mexico's financial hardship website. The state and private companies are taking measures to mitigate financial hardship and the state is diligently working to identify additional sources of relief and to advocate for a full measure of federal support.
For more long term concerns, resources provided by UNM Benefits, the Voluntary Retirement Plan Representatives serving UNM employees, and our Financial Wellness Program, stay informed and learn What to do – and what not to do – when financial markets get shaky. Gaining a more global perspective can help you understand the markets, emotions, and you.
In times of uncertainty, it’s especially important to stay focused on your long-term goals while taking care of yourself and your loved ones now and over the coming weeks and months.
6. What if I am not sleeping well?
One of the most important sleep hygiene practices is to spend an appropriate amount of time asleep in bed, not too little or too excessive. Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. However, there are recommendations that can provide guidance.
Here are some good tips for establishing healthy sleep habits, promoting restorative sleep and daytime alertness.
7. How do I prepare for the time when I am working from home and also caring for school-aged children at home?
It's one thing for your family's routine to be off for a few days over the holidays. It's quite another to be off of your routine for an unknown amount of time, without any of the familiar signposts to anchor you. Here are some strategies for making it through this quarantine with your kids.
8. How can I cope and take time to be present in the moment?
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. You can also become more distressed by being exposed to repeated images or hearing repeated reports about the outbreak in the media.
There are specific things you can do to balance these feelings. First, limit the information coming at you (See FAQ #4) and choose to practice active mindfulness, whether you sit quietly in the moment and think of something you are grateful for, spend time with your pet(s), or follow a guided relaxation meditation with Michelle Duval from the Mindful Center. Ultimately, it is about supporting yourself and those around you. Your well-being is fueled by you.