Solvista Health provides primary care and behavioral health services in Lake County. Following are ideas from Solvista for taking care of individual and household mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic:

— It’s typical to experience a range of emotions during times like these — anxiety, frustration, numbing. Many folks feel uncertain. You may experience changes in appetite, energy, sleep or your ability to concentrate.

— Make sure you are meeting your basic needs. Eat regular meals, exercise, do your best with a good sleep routine. These are the foundations of feeling good. Often, when we are stressed, these things go out the window.

— Reduce media exposure. The constant stream of updates can captivate us, but also leave us feeling inundated and overwhelmed. Schedule one or two times each day to get an update from a reliable source such as the Colorado Department of Public Health or the Centers for Disease Control and then move forward with your day.

— Control what you can. You may be anxious or frustrated about all the changes that are impacting daily life, such as, changes in travel plans, changes at work or school schedule changes. You cannot change those things. Focus on what you can do, rather than on what you can’t.

— Practice self-care. Do something comforting for yourself and your family, whether that is a home cooked meal, a bath or a walk by the river. Find a way to laugh each day, whether by watching stand-up comedy, your favorite movie or funny animal videos. Call a friend or family member and catch up.

— Avoid excessive alcohol or substance use.

— If you have kids, helping them through these challenging times is vitally important. Remember to:

— Validate their feelings. Don’t tell them not to worry if they are worried. Tell them you understand, and that it makes sense they are feeling worried or scared given all they are hearing or seeing.

— Remind them that the grownups who love them are working to keep everyone safe and healthy.

— Kids are experiencing confusion because, on one hand, they are told that this illness is not a danger to them and, on the other, events are canceled and school schedules are disrupted. Remind them that the reason things are changing is that people in the community are trying to help each other stay safe and healthy.

— Kids are really tuned in to adult conversations. Limit these when kids are around.

— Answer questions as openly and appropriately as you can. If you don’t know, that’s okay to say. We’re all still trying to make sense of this situation and we don’t have all the answers.

— Help kids to focus on what they can do, the things that are within their control.

— Maintain routines as much as possible, and don’t forget to play and have fun.

Locals can reach Solvista Health offices at 719-275-2351, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to set up a virtual appointment. Individuals can also connect to the statewide crisis line by texting TALK to 38255.

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