Emotional Support Resources

Grief During the Covid-19 PandemicGrief During the Covid-19 Pandemic

NAMI Information and Resources

Coping with increased anxiety or depression? Unable to afford prescriptions? Feeling sick but don't have insurance? Need assistance paying bills? This list is provided by NAMI for mental and physical wellness during the COVID-19 outbreak, including help paying for bills, prescription assistance, resources for those without insurance, online support communities and more! 
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A message from Dr. Doug MeskeThoughts on Managing Stress from Dr. Doug Meske

Hello Sisters and Brothers,
In light of the current stress, sadness, and concerns, I hoped I could share some thoughts that would be helpful for all of you. As many of you know, as a therapist, I place a great deal of emphasis on our emotional needs and on cognitive therapy (how we think that influences how we feel and how we behave). Consequently, I would like you to take the time to think about, to discuss, and to act on the following.

An Emotional Need: Sense of Security (having predictability, consistency, and not “walking on eggshells”—not feeling safe)

Right now, these three elements of security are being challenged. There are legitimate reasons to feel some insecurity, to have upsetting thoughts go through our minds. Therefore, stress, anxiety and concern are very legitimate. However, our challenge is to figure out ways to control these thoughts and feelings so that they don’t escalate and take control of us. So, how to do this?
Here are some specific ideas (in order of importance):
  1. Acknowledge that there are appropriate, realistic reasons to feel some stress and anxiety.
  2. Realize that history has demonstrated that when such crises have happened before, we as a nation were able to come up with answers and solutions. We recovered. Therefore, is it realistic to believe that in time antibodies, tests, and medications for curing and preventing will be discovered, and that there will be answers? I think so. What about you?
  3. In time, our economy will rebound and recover. We have done it before! Any reason to think we can’t do it again?
  4. Create specific ways to have predictability, consistency, and healthiness in your daily/weekly life now. Such as:
    • Have daily schedules that give predictable structure
    • Have set meals
    • Have in-house picnics
    • Each member of the family decides on a meal during the week
    • Schedule exercise
    • Games and fun times, play hide-and-seek
    • Times to pray, alone and with others
    • Read
    • Write poems and stories
    • Paint and draw
    • Start a new hobby
    • Set time aside to talk and to share
    • Call people, Zoom, Skype
    • Learn a new language
    • Organize and look at family photo albums
    • Watch family movies
    • Lessen how often you watch the same news
    • Create an in-house walking map
    • Make up games (how many items in this room start with B?)
    • (add in your own ideas)
Think about how all of the above take care of many emotional needs.
Another thought:
Because this is a bad time, we must find ways to release this sadness. Therefore, there may need to be times to cry, to be held, to hold, … However, be careful as far as which children are able to understand what is happening and who can effectively deal with it.

Finally, Cognitive Therapy

Keep in mind that stress, anxiety and panic are frequently escalated by our thoughts. Even when the thought has some reality about it, we must censor and evaluate how powerful we let this thought become. Yes, these thoughts and feelings become challenging to control and to balance. However, we can do it by our own self-awareness (“look how I’m letting my thought escalate”) and by talking/sharing with others. Don’t keep what’s happening inside yourself. Talk about it and write about it. Get the thought(s) out of yourself.
Peace, my sisters and brothers!
Dr. Doug Meske