Mclean Hospital
Birdseye view of people socially distance a park

5 Ways to Keep Worries at Bay as Businesses and Activities Reopen

June 15, 2020

Over the last few months, we have seen increases in testing, lower rates of infection in some areas, and more knowledge about the COVID-19 virus itself. Because of this, lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have changed or eased up in many areas. While being at home is safer, being at home all the time can be unsustainable for many, and people are craving a return to normalcy.

With some activities resuming, it can be hard to keep anxiety and nervousness at bay. To help keep both your physical and mental health going strong, we have compiled a few friendly reminders that are sure to make your return to normal smoother.

1. Know Where to Go for Trusted Information

There is a lot of new information being released daily about the coronavirus—but a lot of misinformation is still out there. To avoid confusion, anxiety, or added stress, it’s best to go to reliable, trustworthy sources for information. Your state’s department of public health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization are all excellent resources to have a better understanding of how COVID-19 is affecting people locally as well as globally.

2. When It Comes to People, Less Is More

Depending on where you live, there are various rules in place for how many people can gather at one time. But with beautiful weather and feeling cooped up at home, many are craving the social interactions they’ve lost over the past few months. However, the more people you’re around—and the more people you’re unfamiliar with—the harder it is to know the health status of others.

Blaise Aguirre, MD, said, “We see this a lot. There are things I want to do but can’t. People are closer than six feet. It’s good to share with friends and family what you’re going to do and what your plans are.” Keep your social circles small to lower the risk of community spread as well as anxiety and stress about the pandemic.

Looking for More Mental Health Resources?

McLean Hospital recognizes the need for reliable and helpful mental health resources. With this in mind, we have dedicated the time of our staff to ensure we are making free resources available for the public and professionals in hopes of promoting healthy individuals and communities.

Sign up now for the next in our webinar series and learn more about mental health and well-being.


3. Keep Yourself Safe Through Good Hygiene

We encourage wearing a mask if you are leaving your home and avoid adjusting it as much as possible to help keep germs away. While you may find masks uncomfortable, several varieties are now available that are in different sizes and with adjustable straps to make wearing one more tolerable.

Practice good hand hygiene—20 seconds is the handwashing time frame that kills germs. If you aren’t able to wash your hands, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can disinfect until you’re able to clean your hands properly.

4. Be Emergency Prepared

Marni Chanoff, MD, explained that creating a plan before there’s a crisis can help manage anxiety and prepare for emergencies. Chanoff said, “Keep and rely on a list, including food supplies and medications, and health care provider and work contacts.” She encouraged enlisting others in your social circles in your plans. Going through the process of what a scenario like a quarantine would look like in your home with your family can help with anxiety for all family members. “Calm begets calm,” said Chanoff. If you are feeling calm, you’ll be able to communicate that sentiment to family members, allowing them to feel more at ease.

5. Go With Your Gut

If a situation, small gathering, or the supermarket is making you uncomfortable, be confident and comfortable with leaving to keep your mental health intact. Everyone will feel safe in different ways.

Aguirre shared, “Know that your plans may be different than other people’s. People may be upset one way or another, or they might become upset. You can tell them that you respect what they’re asking for themselves, but you’ll work within what you also feel is reasonable.”

Are you or a loved one struggling to manage anxiety or stress during these difficult times? McLean Hospital is here to help. Call us now at 877.646.5272 to learn more about treatment for depression, stress, or anxiety.

June 15, 2020

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