Manage your mental health during unpredictable times

  • Published
  • By Mrs. Jamie L. Ellis, LCSW. 926th Wing Director of Psychological Health
  • 926th Wing

I wanted to share a little word with ya’ll on how to manage your mental health through this unpredictable time of crisis we are facing.  I will start with a story of a time when I was stuck in my house for a week during an Alabama snowstorm with my family.  This was back before cell phones, computers and all the conveniences.  We were without power, isolated in the country and had no water for 2 days.  I remember feeling isolated, worried and sad.  There have been other times of national crisis that have also given me those feelings.  Anyone remember how you felt after 9/11? 

When a time comes in your life when you are unable to do what you normally do (i.e. go to work, gym, your favorite restaurant) and the whole world seems to be at a standstill; you can feel the effects of grief.  Some of the feelings that you may have are the loss of your routines, of certainty, and perception of yourself as being generally healthy and protected all come into question.  This feeling is normal during these times.

So what can you do?

  • Find a new at home routine- such as getting up at a certain time, doing a much need cleaning and/or organizing project
  • Take this time to communicate to your family (play that video game with your teen, have that conversation with your spouse)
  • Exercise (take a walk, get fresh air….maintain social distancing of course)
  • Limit the amount of media that you receive (set up a time to check the news and that is it, often when you listen for more news this can lead to feelings of being more anxious)
  • Connect with your friend and/or work groups via Zoom, FaceTime or some other platform
  • Reconnect to your sense of purpose or faith (oftentimes these uncertain times make use question life, reconnecting to your spirituality can help you feel more centered)

Lastly, I would like to let y’all know that I am here for you.  I will be in and out of the office but I am available by cell at 702-277-1240.  If you are feeling suicidal, please go to your nearest emergency room.  If you need counseling, I am available, along with Military One Source (1-800-342-9647) and others in the community who are now doing telehealth.

Mrs. Jamie L. Ellis, LCSW