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As Dr. Lisa Blum, PSY.D., explains, “News of the coronavirus has spread into every corner by now, and so many alarmist messages can take quite a toll on our sense of well-being, our nervous system, and our ability to be present and care for our partners, children, and loved ones. One important way to manage the anxiety spiral of information overload is to be sure you are receiving information from only the most reliable sources. Be appropriately cautious about posts on non-scientific social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, and email chains. Instead, follow reliable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Limit how many times per day you are receiving incoming alerts about the virus — we recommend spending a set amount of time (e.g., 15 minutes) once per day to get your information, and then turn your media to other topics for the rest of the day. Our nervous systems don’t hold up well under the constant onslaught of alarms. Talk in advance to your health care providers about your specific needs if you or your loved ones have health vulnerabilities.”
Also, check out this video, Managing “Post” Pandemic Stress, Burnout, and Other Mental Health Issues, from Winter Institute 2021 with Dr Faith Harper, licensed professional counselor and author of Unf*ck Your Brain and the YA adaptation Befriend Your Brain, will lead booksellers on a session on mental health and self-care in a "post" pandemic world.
Making a decision to reach out for help while in crisis is overwhelming. Unfortunately, once that decision is made it doesn’t guarantee a good experience. If you call a hotline and aren’t getting the supportive conversation you need, ask to be transferred to a different operator; that is completely valid. Callers should expect wait times, and switching operators may increase that time.
If you are wondering if you should call a hotline, you probably should. Finding a connection with someone is the first step to feeling better.