Weekly Safety Training Topic No. 2020

Managing your mental health during COVID-19 pandemic

During times of crisis, we can be subject to letting our minds drift, wander and get lost in the chaos of what might be, what is happening and what will happen if. It’s during these times that we might need help remembering that it will be ok, we must strive on and there might be times that we need outside help to fight through until things are ok. When crisis strikes, we need to help ourselves and help others get through. Normal will return, it maybe a new normal but it will return, work will resume and there will be people who will never stop caring, even when normal is missing.

Let’s take a look at what might not be normal behavior, emotions or feelings during this time of crisis and how distress may appear in your life.

  • Are you, or does someone you know feel numb, in disbelief or have overwhelming anxiety or fear of what is happening?
  • Have you noticed a change in your appetite, loss of energy or a decrease in the activities you partake in?
  • Do you find it difficult to concentrate at work or at home?
  • Are you having a hard time staying asleep or getting to sleep? When you get to sleep are you having nightmares or night terrors?
  • Do you have upsetting thoughts or disturbing images running through your head?
  • Are you experiencing headaches, body aches/pains, upset stomach or breaking out with rashes?
  • Have you or others noticed a quick temper or aggression leading to anger with you?
  • Have chronic health situations/problems worsened?
  • Have you increased the amount of alcohol, tobacco you partake in?
  • Have you starting using/abusing drugs to help cope?

If you have answered “YES” to any of the previous questions, you may need assistance or help, and that is OK. Let’s restate that, IT IS OK TO ASK FOR ASSISTANCE OR SEEK HELP.

There are several ways you can help yourself during these times of chaos and change. First, start by taking care of your physical health. Start or continue to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Try to start exercising or continue to exercise regularly and make sure that you are giving yourself a chance to get plenty of sleep every night. It is best to limit, reduce or avoid alcohol, tobacco and other non-prescribed drugs during these times.

Next, try to keep connected or in touch with coworkers, friends and family members. Utilize social media platforms if face-to-face connection is not suggested. Which during the COVID-19, face-to-face connections should be avoided. If social media isn’t your thing, pick up the phone and give your people a ring. Communication is needed during this time of limited physical contact and isolation. Within those relationships, you should share any feelings of uncertainty that you have so they maybe able provide assistance during this troubled time.

Take a break. Consider a short break from activities and obligations that cause stress to unwind and relieve built up pressure. This may include a break from new outlets that could alter your sense of being with too much information. Instead, search out news and facts on your own time, when you feel less stressed and are ready to process the nature and relevance of the concerning situation that is currently happening. On the other hand, if you feel anxious, stressed or nervous because of a sense of not know, then check with your local, state and federal governments to see the specifics of the situation, because we know it constantly changes. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break and if you’re feeling uninformed, conduct your own research through credible resources in regards to the current state of affairs.

Finally, if the answer is yes to several of the previously stated questions or you’re in a constant state of concerning feelings for several days or weeks, please, reach out for help. Consult a clergy member of your church. Seek professional help through a counselor or talk to your doctor. You may also call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). They have a Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990 and are willing to help. You may also text the SAMHSA, just send TalkWithUs to 66746. There is always someone willing to provide assistance and help with your mental well-being.



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The information and recommendations contained in this “Weekly Safety Training Topic” have been compiled from various sources believed to be reliable and represent the best current opinion on the subject. The Builders’ Association in no way guarantees, insures, or warrants the absolute correctness or sufficiency of any information contained within. The Builders’ Association expressly disclaims all liability and assumes no responsibility therewith.