May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health has never been more important than this year. Until now, there were still some people who believed that mental health wasn’t everyone’s concern. They thought that our annual mental health resources – even though they were shared with millions – were aimed at just a small group of people – the one in five who have a mental health concern in any given year. That isn’t the case today.
Just weeks ago, we had no idea that our worlds were going to be turned upside down by the coronavirus or that the associated worry, isolation, loneliness, and anxiety would be something that literally everyone – all five in five – would experience.
It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a disaster. Everyone reacts differently, and 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.
- Take care of your body– Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
- Connect with others– Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships and build a strong support system.
- Take breaks– Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try taking in deep breaths. Try to do activities you usually enjoy.
- Stay informed– When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or nervous. Watch, listen to, or read the news for updates from officials. Be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis, especially on social media. Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information like your local government authorities.
- Avoid too much exposure to news– Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do enjoyable activities and return to normal life as much as possible.
- Seek help when needed– If distress impacts your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a clergy member, counselor, doctor, or contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) helpline 1-800-985-5990.
Look out for these common signs of distress:
- Feelings of numbness, disbelief, anxiety or fear.
- Changes in appetite, energy, and activity levels.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Anger or short temper.
- Difficulty sleeping, nightmares, upsetting dreams.
- Physical reactions, such as headaches & body pains.
- Worsening of chronic health problems.
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
The Fuquay Varina Junior Woman’s Club has been busy supporting the community and beyond during COVID-19. Members have been sewing cloth facemasks. To date they have made more than 140. They have set up locations for members and non-members to pick up and/or donate supplies for masks. Also, they are using their Clubhouse as a drop off point for completed masks. They invited the community to join in and non-members have contributed 21 this far! Masks have been supplied to Rex Cancer Floor, assisted living enters, and nurses at Rex, Wake Med Raleigh, Transitional Health Services and Pine Acres Community Center.