Helpful Resources for Right Now
It goes without saying that we're all stressed and frightened as we work to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities during this unprecedented global pandemic. As a public health organization, we wanted to let you know a few important ways you can protect your health:
- For up-to-date information on public health recommendations, please refer to the guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). If you are above age 65, which is at higher risk of complications from the coronavirus, please refer to these specific recommendations from the CDC.
- If you are pregnant or know someone who is, please refer to this helpful Q&A from ProPublica—it addresses health concerns as well as concerns with labor, delivery, and postpartum care during the ongoing pandemic.
- Of those recommendations, we want to highlight and urge social isolation—our most critical tool in slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Please stay inside your home as much as possible, and if you do venture out, keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
Stress weakens our immune systems, so it's also important to protect and prioritize our mental health as much as we can. Here are a few ways to combat stress:
- Exercise helps to keep anxiety at bay. Many local gyms and yoga studios are offering free online courses—look yours up to see what's on offer. You can also check out YMCA 360, free online exercise videos offered by the Y during the pandemic.
- Fresh air is also important. Whether it's taking a few moments a day to relax on a porch, taking a quick walk around your neighborhood, or visiting a state park for a long hike—while maintaining 6 feet of distance from anyone else—getting outside of the house when you can do so safely is an important tool for calming anxiety.
- This all goes for kids, too. Children pick up on our stress and anxiety, and it's important to find ways to help them calm their nerves, too. Cosmic Kids Yoga is a popular online series of yoga classes for kids 3 and up, and includes mindfulness techniques to help children stay grounded in these stressful times.
- Find joy in music and art. Many concert halls, bands, and musicians are streaming their concerts live online, and art museums and galleries are offering virtual tours.
- During any moments of rising anxiety, try out the "5-4-3-2-1" exercise to ground yourself in the present: Look around and name five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This simple tool can do wonders to bring calm.
Most importantly, please don't be too hard on yourself. It's okay if the dishes are piling up and you haven't used your time at home to take up a new hobby. We have not seen a crisis like this in living memory—there's no playbook for this, for any of us.
We are so grateful to have you with us, and we hope you stay safe and healthy as we all work to defend our health, our families, and our communities.
Please be well,
Environmental Health Strategy Center