Mental Health & Coping

Domestic Violence Assistance
Governor Pritzker reminds all that Stay-At-Home can be even more challenging for those that are a victim or live in fear of Domestic Violence.
Need Help Now?
Domestic Violence Helpline: 
1-877-TO END DV or 1-877-863-6338 (Voice)
The hotline is toll-free, confidential, multilingual, and open 24-hour.

JCFS Chicago has a warm line for people who want emotional support (non-urgent). The phone number is 855-275-5237, and the line is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Practical Thoughts on Coping through Coronavirus

  • Take care of your body.  Get enough sleep, keep your usual routine as much as you can, eat healthy meals and limit alcohol consumption.  Maintain a regular routine of personal hygiene.
  • Keep moving.  In spite of the disruption of your routine, try to find ways to maintain one. Use cardio and yoga videos on YouTube or home DVD’s.  Stand up and walk around frequently.
  • Minimize information overload.  The information about COVID-19 is changing quickly, it is hard to stop watching, but it creates a constant flow of stress running through our bodies.  Try choosing one or two times each day to catch up on what you need to know and then shut it off.
  • Prepare.  Sometimes people don’t behave rationally when a crisis occurs, such as hoarding toilet paper.  We all want to do something when we feel powerless.  Be informed by a sound source, like the CDC or the Skokie Emergency Preparedness tips to guide your actions.  Action helps reduce anxiety.
  • Reach out, be a helper.  In Governor Pritzker’s press conference last week, he said “All of us have a part to play.  Be a helper.”  A wonderful way to feel better is to help someone else feel better, or safer or calmer.  Look for ways to help others, exchange phone numbers with your neighbors, and agree to check in with each other, help each other with shopping or food delivery.  Consider safe ways to help through your neighborhood connections like Facebook and NextDoor.  Technology and a fast society have isolated us from our neighbors.  Now is the time to support each other in safe and healthy ways—our health care and government entities are not equipped to do it for us.
  • Connect.  With your friends and family and reach out to those who may be isolated.  Technology is a wonderful tool.  Call, text, face time, video chat, swap funny videos on snap chat.  Stay in touch with your friends and family who live out of state and have a plan on how to reach each other quickly for urgent reasons.  This is the perfect time to reach out to a family member that you haven’t spoken to in a long time—they will appreciate it and benefit from the connection.
  • Make “Lemonade”. Find ways to make good use of this time.  Try a new recipe, watch a new television series, meditate, walk your dog, read one of the books piled up next to your bed.  If you run out of books, the Skokie Public Library has put together digital resources to help you. 
  • Reach out. Which means many things.  It may be as simple as saying aloud that you feel overwhelmed, to a trusted friend or loved one. Thinking together will help you both.  The act of sharing can help calm your nervous system.

Adapted from Gretchen Rubin, Author of “The Four Tendencies

From NorthShore University Health System:

Feeling anxious about COVID-19? Supporting your own mental health.

Feeling anxious in this time of uncertainty is normal for everyone and working in the healthcare environment can cause additional stress. While we cannot expect to eliminate all anxiety related to what is going on, focusing on what you can control can help. Here are some ideas:

Rely on quality sources of information.
Make sure that the information you are getting is from a reliable source. Here are a few:

NorthShore’s COVID-19 Online Resource Center

Illinois Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Prevention and Control

Limit social media time and overexposure to the news.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, setting boundaries with your phone and social media can help quell anxiety. If you are feeling overwhelmed by constant updates or find yourself checking your phone multiple times an hour, try to set limits to give yourself a break from the constant barrage of information. Daily updates from a reliable source will be adequate to tell you what steps you need to take to be safe. There is evidence that taking these steps can help improve stress levels.

Find the positives in social distancing:
What have you been wanting to accomplish at home?
Start a project you have been thinking about, catch up on reading, binge watch a favorite TV show, try a new recipe, learn a new skill online.
If you get to spend time with family, focus on the positives of this opportunity.

Look for positive stories of hope and humanity
Follow a positive news feed such as:

Keep a gratitude journal or use a gratitude app.

Connect with others in positive ways:
Virtual book club
Face time in groups with friends
If you are inclined, connect with your faith community or spend time in prayer
Share stories of positive behaviors and teamwork with others
Thank the people you are working with for all they do

It is OK to acknowledge your anxiety to yourself and to others
Give yourself permission to imagine that if the worse happens – and you get COVID-19, that it can be handled and you will be OK. It is true that most people who get COVID-19 survive without sequelae (an aftereffect of a disease, condition, or injury).

Sharing your fears can help them seem more manageable. Anxiety is about the unknown – but if there is fear try also to make space for hope.

Remember that the world is better off because of you.
We are all thankful for your caring and commitment and please know that you are making a difference every day. Find peace and joy in the meaning of your work. It is at times like these that the meaning of our mission and vision becomes real. Thank you for all you do!