United Way of Southwest Alabama / Uncategorized  / Coronavirus: Take Care of Each Other & Take Care of You!

Coronavirus: Take Care of Each Other & Take Care of You!

Alabama is in the third week of social distancing practices, many adults and children could be feeling overwhelmed or experiencing higher levels of anxiety. Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.

If you or someone you know is immediate need of help or just need to talk, call 1.800.273.TALK or join a Lifeline Chat. There are recommendations for families to manage health and well-being. 

For the general public, the mental health effects of COVID-19 are as important to address as are the physical health effects. And for the one in five who already have mental health conditions – or the one in two who are at risk of developing them – we need to take personal, professional, and policy measures now to address them.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.  How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and  the community you live in. It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a disaster. Your own feelings will change over time. Notice and accept how you feel. Taking care of your emotional health during an emergency will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family. Self-care during an emergency will help your long-term healing..

Some people who may be respond to stress more strongly.

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
  • Children and teens
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
  • People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row

AltaPointe Health’s Conference Call with the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce

Cindy Gipson and Jennifer Gregory spoke with Mobile Chamber of Commerce members about mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. They shared coping tools, and some clues in behavior changes to be aware of that might lead to crisis. Please take the time to listen to their 30 minute presentation.  If you or someone you know needs help, there is a 24/7 crisis line to call – 251-450-2211 or 888-335-3044. To listen to the recording of the session, click here.


  1. Manage your expectations.
  2. Proactively manage your stress threshold.
  3. Know your Red Flags.
  4. Routine is your friend.
  5. Be compassionate with yourself and others.
  6. Maintain connections. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling 
  7. Manage uncertainty by staying in the present
  8. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  9. Take care of your body.
  10. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. 
  11. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
  12. Exercise regularly.
  13. Get plenty of sleep
  14. Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  15. Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.

If you are feeling suicidal, just know you are not alone.

There is help for you and we can help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 for individuals who may be feeling suicidal or experiencing emotional distress. The number is 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). If you, or someone you know, are causing physical harm, call 9-1-1.



SOURCE: Center for Disease Control COVID-19 Daily Health & Coping

SOURCE: Lifelines Family Counseling

SOURCE: Mental Health America

SOURCE: Nature Magazine