Tips for taking care of your mental health
Starting with the basics - keep a daily schedule! Isolation and lack of structure can be triggers for depression. It is important to keep a routine in place, particularly when many normalcies have been displaced. Be intentional in your plan for the day, sticking to a regular daily routine as much as possible. Set your alarm, get up at the same time each day, take a shower, and get dressed each day. Avoid the temptation to stay up late at night, sleep in late in the morning, stay in pajamas, and not continue with regular daily hygiene. When thinking through your day, also decide when you will check in for news updates. Pick a few trusted media sources and limit your intake of news and social media. You want to be informed, but not overloaded with information. I have attached a simple scheduling form to utilize in planning your day, in case you need a boost in implementing structure during this stay-at-home period.
ENGAGE IN THERAPY
Most mental health practitioners are offering telehealth sessions via phone or video. It is important to continue your treatment (or start treatment in some cases) and have continuity of care, particularly during heightened times of stress. While many activities and services we are used to having in our daily life are not currently accessible, therapy sessions are still very much available to you from your home.
Please contact us if you do not currently have an appointment scheduled and would like to touch base.
EXPLORE YOUR ENTERTAINMENT OPTIONS
Although the television is a convenient and comfortable option to occupy your time, continuous television watching can become mundane day after day. Think about inviting something different into your life and lookfor more creative options outside of television to virtually explore the world and learn something new! Here are some ideas to get you started.
Listen to live concerts from the artist’s home:
View a concert at a world famous venue:
Take a cooking lesson from the chef’s home:
Virtually take in some arts and culture:
Learn a foreign language and connect with the world:
Take an art class:
What else do you want to learn?
Social connection is a vital part of our mental wellbeing. If you live alone, it is important to maintain interpersonal connections so that you don't become socially isolated during this period of physical distancing. For those living with others in the home, it is healthy to also include social routines with friends and family outside of the home as much as possible. While being together in person with many of our loved ones is not an option right now, there are still several ways to stay connected. Check out some of these online activities:
Play games online with friends:
Watch a movie together on Netflix:
Create your own book club or join one with the author:
Host a virtual dinner party:
Collaborate and volunteer together:
Get on Zoom or Hangouts and listen to music or comedy together - Sirius XM is free right now!
Attend a virtual worship service:
There are too many services available to list here. Contact your church for information or do a Google search for "live streaming church service near me" or similar to find a service best suited to your interest. There are often smaller virtual groups, outside of the service itself, that you can participate in for more interpersonal connection.
Make sure to include time for self-care into your day. Shift your mindset a bit and use this time and space as an opportunity to slow down and make some beneficial changes. Bring focus to really tending to your mental health, treating your body and brain to some much needed self-compassion. Now is a great time to continue with your regular self-care practices, or you can get outside your comfort zone and learn some new ones. Take advantage of the many remote resources available right now.
Learn to breathe:
Mindfully walk in the sunshine:
Zoom a yoga class:
Contact Paige Sapp at to get a zoom link for virtual classes that include gentle movement, breathwork, and meditation. Classes are on Mondays and Thursdays from 10am-11:30am. Class fee is $15-20 (if money is an issue, let her know and she will allow you to join for free).
During this time of 'sheltering in place', many of us may be experiencing disruptions in our usual means of support including therapy or recovery groups. There may be temptation to isolate, which can influence emotional health and sobriety. Fortunately, during this era of technology we are able to stay connected "face to face" with our support systems through telehealth or online communities.
Connecting with others who understand your journey is vital to healing. Whether you are new to recovery or well-seasoned, it is important to remain connected with fellowship. Below are some online meeting options, as well as free apps for both those recovering from addictions and their loved ones.
Online Meetings for Recovery:
AA San Diego
Free Apps for Recovery:
Hazelden Recovery Meditations:
Recovery from Porn Addiction:
Online Meetings for Loved Ones:
Al-Anon Family Groups:
Free App for Loved Ones Recovery:
Al-Anon/Alateen Speaker Tapes :
For non-emergency issues that require attention before your next scheduled appointment, please contact us so we can schedule a time to check in together.
If you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, please call 911.
San Diego Access & Crisis Line 888-724-7240
“If you or someone you care about is experiencing a suicidal or mental health crisis, please call the Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240. Trained and experienced counselors are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to provide support, referrals, and crisis intervention. You can also call the Access and Crisis Line if you are concerned about someone, just need to talk, have questions about how to offer support, or if you are looking for information about community resources, mental health referrals, and alcohol and drug support services. If emergency medical care is needed, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.”
Suicide Prevention Hotline 800-273-8255
“The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.”