Focus on mental health while isolated during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended higher risk communities practice self-isolation to prevent the spread of the virus. Dr. Herbert “Buddy” Coard, Psychologist at Renown Health, shares some advice about maintaining our spirits while we stay healthy and safe.
The CDC has identified higher risk communities for COVID-19 as older adults and people with underlying health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and lung disease. Everybody is encouraged to practice social distancing, but self-isolation can become more limiting. Higher risk communities might even decide to cut off contact with close family members during this period of time.
Here are the differences between quarantine, isolation and social distancing:
- Quarantine: Separates and restricts the movement of people who have been exposed to COVID-19 to see if they become sick. This can last a minimum of 14 days.
- Isolation: Prevents the spread of an infectious disease by separating people who are sick or at higher risk of becoming sick from those who are not.
- Social distancing: Keeps people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread the virus.
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According to Dr. Coard, it is important everyone focus on the impact isolation will have on mental health. We can look at this as an opportunity. Our lives move so fast, but this is a time to slow down and take time to practice mindfulness.
Dr. Coard has the tips below to F.A.C.E. COVID-19.
F = Focus on what’s in your control.
We can’t control the COVID-19 outbreak itself or the effect it has on the world. And we also can’t control our feelings and remove natural anxiety and fear during this uncertain time. But we can control our actions – here and now.
A = Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings.
Understand we might not always be in control of our feelings and thoughts. But we can acknowledge what is going through our minds, and maybe even write down those thoughts.
C = Come back into your body.
Don’t forget the power of exercise during this period of time. Go for a walk, take a virtual yoga class or practice meditation.
E = Engage in what you’re doing.
While we start picking up forgotten hobbies, books and TV shows, remember to stay present in each activity. It might be easy to let our minds wander to the uncertainty of COVID-19, but try to be fully present and remember what you have control over.