COVID-19 brings with it an ocean of emotions

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From the Office of the Behavioral Health Prevention Team

During these uncertain times, some are typical of increased stress levels and increased anxiety. COVID-19 has forced everyone to adjust to a “new normal”, causing us to change the way we interact with loved ones, friends and even colleagues, through physical distancing, staying at home and even self-isolation.

We are all together on this boat of the “new normal”. When you feel adrift in self-isolation and physical distancing, the Louisiana Behavioral Health Office is here to help you stay afloat. Here are some things to pack in your mental health toolkit.
I feel overwhelmed by stress, uncertainty, fear or anxiety. Is there anyone I can talk to?

These are all normal responses to an uncertain or threatening event. You can call Keep Calm through the COVID line at 1-866-310-7977. This telephone line is available 24/7 and all calls are confidential. The Keep Calm through COVID line connects you with knowledgeable and compassionate counselors who can offer support and who can refer you to mental health and substance use counseling services.

Stress is inevitable, but I really need a way to let off steam. Will drinking alcohol help relieve some of this stress and anxiety?
Alcohol is addictive and can be toxic. In larger quantities or when consumed with certain medications or by people with certain health conditions, relying on alcohol for stress relief is not recommended. Instead, use other stress-reduction techniques and practices such as exercise (as approved by your doctor), getting enough sleep (about eight hours a night for most adults), and relaxation techniques such as meditation / mindfulness exercises and mental exercises. structural breathing, listening to relaxing music, reading, Etc.
I am recovering, but this event is difficult to deal with. During this COVID-19 event, what are some ways I can stay above the flu?

Especially in times like these, it’s common to experience high levels of stress and heightened anxiety, and maintaining sobriety can be difficult. Here are some useful tools you can use to help you cope and maintain your sobriety while practicing the recommended physical spacing:

  • Reflect on your journey and your successes
  • magazine
  • Maintain your current support system through social media
  • Get active! Dance, walk, run, practice yoga … practice physical movement
  • Stay connected through video chat programs like FaceTime and Skype
  • Meditate; create a relaxing environment
  • Download apps that offer peer support and advice
  • Join a virtual church, faith-based or support services, if applicable
  • Read or listen to a book online
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Look for virtual support meetings online or by phone. Here are some suggestions:

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