April 1, 2020

Maintaining emotional health during temporary disruptions

Take these extra steps to stay mentally healthy while we reduce in-person contact during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meeting with your mental health care provider via phone or video is a great alternative when it’s not possible to meet in person.

Social distancing, sheltering in place, closures, and the resulting disruption to our daily routines are challenging for most of us and might prove particularly stressful for those of us also living with mental health conditions.

“We are all experiencing a tremendous amount of change in a short period of time,” said Cosette Taillac, Kaiser Permanente’s national strategic leader for mental health and wellness. “Uncertainty is more stressful than knowing for certain that something bad will happen to you. Schedules and routines can be core to helping us cope with this kind of stress.”

Taillac offers the following suggestions to help people with depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions during these trying times:

Keep provider appointments. Kaiser Permanente providers are shifting more appointments to phone and video in support of social distancing. Telehealth visits are both effective and convenient, and a great way to maintain your regular appointments with your provider.

Maintain your care plan. It’s very important to continue following your care plan you’ve established with your provider, including taking your medications. Take advantage of mail-order prescription refills when it is time to replenish your supply.

Add some flex to your routine. Restrictions and other changes related to this pandemic have disrupted daily activities, but you can adapt your routine to maintain as much normalcy as possible.

  • Get outside. Take a walk, maybe up a hill or near water, where you can reconnect with the larger world beyond your walls.
  • Build in exercise time. Be creative with what you have around the house to modify your workout; use online tools to exercise with others whenever possible.
  • Get enough sleep. A normal sleep schedule is essential to maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
  • Stay connected. Be sure to make time each day to communicate via phone or video with the important people in your life.