Connecting with others through socializing services such as Skype can help those facing mental and emotional isolation. (Courtesy photo)
Connecting with others through socializing services such as Skype can help those facing mental and emotional isolation. (Courtesy photo)

Be a resource to others: Reach out to family members, neighbors, and friends to check on their well-being. Sometimes just knowing that others care can make the difference between managing isolation and falling into despair. For those who enjoy sending text messages or social media, consider weekly video chats so that you can be seen and heard by those you love.

Go for a walk: Organizations like the Community Health Network advise people to get outside for some fresh air and while doing so, take the opportunity to greet and interact with others from a safe distance. This will keep you from feeling trapped and, also keep you connected to the positive things going on in the world around you.

Disconnect from sensationalized news: Some of us may feel safer staying indoors, but inadvertently become fretful to go out because of the constant stream of news stories discussing the global pandemic, civil unrest in the streets, and debates over any number of social issues. Limit the types of programs and number of hours spent watching the news or programs that make you feel overwhelmed about the world around you.

Be a steward: One of the first things Southeast resident Janice Wyder did when the pandemic began was find out who was sick and shut-in around her neighborhood and schedule times to grocery shop and deliver necessities to those unable to leave their homes. If you are able, suit up, glove up, and consider running errands for your neighbors need assistance. In addition to being someone else’s lifeline, it will help you to stay mentally and emotionally centered.

Take advantage of mental health resources: Feeling overwhelmed, afraid, and depressed are not uncommon – and there are a myriad of resources available for those who need to chat, as well as for those who believe they have reached a crisis point. You can always dial 2-1-1 to find the answers and resources you need. The line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are free and confidential. Interpreter services are available in multiple languages. There are also online resources available to stay mentally and physically active—including art workshops, meditation classes, streamed concerts, 3-D walkthroughs of museums and zoos around the world, audiobooks, and music playlists to lift your mood.

Join a virtual support group: The National Alliance of Mental Illness recommends those facing some challenges connect with others who may be facing similar challenges and experiences, virtually. Like any good support group, the goal is the keep participants from feeling isolated and as if they are the only ones going through a particular type of crisis. Sometimes, knowing you are not alone is most comforting.

Other Resources:

Emergency: Call 911
Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish), or text TalkWithUs for English or Hablanos for Spanish to 66746. Spanish speakers from Puerto Rico can text Hablanos to 1-787-339-2663.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
The Eldercare Locator: 1-800-677-1116
Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text: 8388255
SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and TTY 1-800-487-4889

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.