Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

At this point, many of us (including THMS staff members) are working from home, and times are scary right now. COVID-19 has us like: 

But here’s some good news: This too shall pass!  

In the meantime, many of us are working from home and largely avoiding going out in public. It’s been about two weeks, and I imagine many of us are going stir crazy. We here at Teen Health Mississippi may dedicate ourselves to getting youth access to high-quality sex education and youth-friendly healthcare, but we are also community-driven, and right now all of our communities need access to information to help us cope with what’s happening. Here are some tips and resources to keep you going during these tough times.

We here at Teen Health Mississippi may dedicate ourselves to getting youth access to high-quality sex education and youth-friendly healthcare, but we are also community-driven, and right now our communities need access to information to help us cope with what’s happening.

Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety

  • Take breaks from social media often. Gauge your intake. Is it every 30 minutes? Hourly? Daily? More frequently? Less screen time improves your mental health and sleep. On that note, consider taking breaks from reading news alerts about COVID-19. Ground yourself. Ask yourself questions like the ones we saw on a Facebook post: What am I grateful for today? Who am I providing support to and who can support me during this time? How often am I getting outside? How am I moving? What am I creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?
  • Take care of your body. Here are some ways: Do deep stretches, meditation, yoga, exercise, eat healthy, exercise regularly, drink lots of water, and get plenty of sleep. Can you think of some others? Also, working from home is great, but make sure you’re doing activities and hobbies outside of working. Consider watching a movie, journaling, making art, playing board games or card games, or cooking. The important thing is to find what brings you peace. If these things don’t bring you peace, consider others.
  • Connect with people (but not physically, though). One bright side to this pandemic is we’re more connected than ever to others via the Internet and phones. Need fresh ideas? Facetime a friend, use apps like Marco Polo, call someone and tell them what’s going on in your head, or talk to your doctor, counselor, or therapist. Telehealth is all the rage right now.
  • Spread accurate information about what’s going on to both young and old alike. Sites that end in .gov or .org tend to have higher levels of reputability, like msdh.gov, cdc.gov, or teenhealthms.org. Talk to the young people in your life about COVID-19. Answer questions and share facts in a way that works for them. Reassure them that it’s okay to be confused or upset by the things that are happening right now. Also, be honest if you don’t have all the answers. We’re living in uncertainty.  
  • Keep up with regular routines as best as you can or create new routines if your old routines no longer apply, but give yourself grace if you can’t.

Tips for Working From Home

  • Establish a routine; Stick to normal work hours. Maybe get started at a designated time, drink coffee, or take a walk around the block. Find what inspires you to work!
  • Make sure people who live with you know when you’re working and when you’re available.
  • Turn meetings into video conferencing calls. This will help you stay social.
  • Check in with supervisors, supervisees, or coworkers as needed. 
  • If you love music, find a focus playlist from Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, or another music platform.
  • Take breaks often.
  • At the end of the day,celebrate your successes and wins. Prioritize new items or missed tasks for the next day.

What are some steps you can take against COVID-19?

COVID-19 Resources:

MSDH Coronavirus Cases Map 

Testing sites in Mississippi

CDC updates 

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