Our emotional health has a powerful impact on our physical health. It’s normal to feel stressed or anxious in times of uncertainty — especially when it causes changes to our routine and can create financial strains. But when we aren’t taking care of our mental health and finding ways to cope, it’s harder for us to manage that stress and support the people around us. When our mental health is strained, it can also weaken our immune system. Right now, we need to be healthy physically…and emotionally. Check out some tips below for staying calm and protecting our mental health. It’s OK to reach out for help if you need it.

You can text HOME to 741741 or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) anytime for a confidential conversation with a trained counselor. 

TAKE A DEEP BREATH

When we are feeling overwhelmed or get a burst of anxiety, our body often reacts by taking rapid, shallow breaths. Slowing and deepening the breath helps us feel more calm and gain a better perspective on the situation. Check out the video from Calm below for a short breathing exercise you can do anytime to destress, relax and recharge. Try doing a breathing exercise when you first wake up, before you go to bed at night, and anytime you are feeling overwhelmed.

PRESS PAUSE

It’s important to be patient with ourselves and others while we are staying in and physical distancing. Tension can be high and tempers can flare. If you start feeling overwhelmed, anxious or angry, the best thing to do is step away from the situation and Press Pause. Taking a minute to regroup and recharge gives us better perspective so we can decide how to react, whether to react, and what to do next. Find more ways to Press Pause.

FIND MINDFUL MOMENTS

It’s important to be patient with ourselves and others while we are staying in and physical distancing. Tension can be high and tempers can flare. If you start feeling overwhelmed, anxious or angry, the best thing to do is step away from the situation and Press Pause. Taking a minute to regroup and recharge gives us better perspective so we can decide how to react, whether to react, and what to do next. Find more ways to Press Pause.

TAKE A PLAY BREAK

Play breaks aren’t just for kids. Research shows that getting playful can reduce stress and help us feel calmer. We should try and take play breaks every day that we’re staying inside and self-distancing. Color, paint, sculpt, make slime, play games.

We’ve created a coloring sheet you can download here to get you started.