Mental Health Resources for the Coronavirus Quarantine

The past week—and those to come—has been an unprecedented experience for all of us. For me, the uncertainty felt like the worst part, when it was up to our own discretion whether or not to go into work, attend a friend’s birthday dinner, or visit family members. I felt extremely anxious, like every decision I made had the potential to be life-altering because in some ways I think it’s important for us to remember that they can be. 

Now, we have a clear directive: to socially distance ourselves. I feel simultaneously relieved to have clear instructions and very anxious at the same time. So far, I’ve found comfort in digital happy hours with friends, Yoga with Adriene, and cooking myself nice meals every night—things that feel indulgent and unusual and are bringing me joy. I’m also extremely lucky to have the chance to work from home, the financial freedom to make nutritious meals, and I’m grateful that I’m quarantined with my fiance, even if we’re both missing our friends and family. 

We are all in wildly different circumstances right now, but I’m taking comfort in the fact that we’re all navigating this together. We’re still figuring out what the coming weeks will look like at Blood + Milk (and please share your ideas via DM on Instagram!), but for now, I wanted to share some ideas and resources for navigating this time and staying mentally healthy. Please share yours in the comments! 

Talk to a Therapist or Coach—Digitally

  • One of the positives in this situation is how adaptable and creative businesses are being in order to continue supporting their communities. If you find a therapist who looks like a great fit, message them and see if they’re willing to meet with you via FaceTime, Zoom, or Google Hangouts.
  • There are also platforms specifically designed for digital therapy, like BetterHelp and Talkspace
  • Lisa Olivera is a therapist who shares helpful tips, advice, and practices on her Instagram account
  • SF-based coach Karen Macklin is offering a virtual coaching and support group, “Transformation in a Time of Uncertainty,” specifically for this, well, time of uncertainty. This weekly group will begin with a seated meditation and then tackle the question of what it means to grieve, learn, grow, and transform our hearts and minds during this time. You can register here, and there is a post-event suggested donation of $15-25. (Karen also offers a meditation group on Thursday evenings, which you can check out here.)
  • ICF-certified coach Emily Mitnick is offering free coaching office hours. She says, “I am holding space each Friday for people to share what’s on their mind, feel their feelings freely, and self-discover. Sessions are 30 minutes, open to all, and happen via Zoom. I want people to know they’re not alone and have a safe place to show up fully.” Learn more about Emily here and sign up for a session through this link.

Navigating Coronavirus and Work

  • Empower Work is a resource for anyone who needs support with work questions, concerns, or stress. You can text trained peer counselors at 510-674-1414 or webchat here. Conversations are free, confidential, and immediate. 
  • A helpful article on boundaries from the Wall Street Journal: The Coronavirus and Your Job: What the Boss Can—and Can’t—Make You Do
  • We know that a lot of people are losing work—and potentially their jobs—due to Coronavirus. If you’re able, reach out to your favorite local businesses, yoga teachers, massage therapists, etc., and see if you can purchase a gift certificate for future use or if there’s any other way to support them. Supporting others and our communities is, for many of us, a wonderful way to support our own mental health. (San Francisco, here is a great resource for helping your local businesses!)

Exercise and Get Some Sleep

  • Tons of studios that have canceled classes in their physical space are moving online. This is also a great way to support your favorite instructors as they find themselves temporarily out of work. 
  • Cora team member Neha recommends the online fitness platform, Obe, saying, “They have a foam rolling series that’s a great way to unwind and some express classes that are a good 10-minute break when you start to feel stir crazy. Code FRIEND30 gets you 30% off your first month after the free trial.”
  • We published a post with tons of exercise ideas and resources here.
  • Sleep is so important not only to our mental health but for the health of our immune systems. Here are Harvard Medical School’s tips for beating anxiety to get a better night’s sleep

Take News Breaks 

  • It’s important to stay informed, but it can be tempting to go down a rabbit hole with news content that is not helpful for our mental health. Try setting boundaries for yourself like, I will check X news source only once when I wake up and once at the end of my workday to make sure I have the information I need to keep myself and my community safe. Another good boundary could be only looking to the CDC (website / Instagram) for your updates. 
  • Organize digital happy hours with friends and family. Truly one of the best things we can do for our mental health right now is to stay connected, even from afar. Whether it’s a happy hour, coffee date, or even a workout class, do it with loved ones over video!
  • I made a reading list of non-COVID related books and articles if you find yourself with spare time and want to escape a little bit—or just tackle your 2020 reading goals! 

 Practice Gratitude & Mindfulness

We’ll continue adding to this list as we all figure this out together. Please let us know what you would add in the comments. 

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