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Self-Care Tips from a GBMC Psychiatrist

March 23, 2020
Self-care is more important now than ever. Keeping your mind healthy is just as important as keeping your body healthy! GBMC’s Chair of Psychiatry, Dr. Rachna Raisinghani, put together a list of ways to cope with stress during these uncertain times. (Many of these also work when there isn’t a pandemic!)
  • Keep a positive attitude; intentionally focus on what went right today as opposed to what went wrong. Limit your exposure to “doom and gloom” editorial commentary that creates a spike in your anxiety. Pessimism can be mentally contagious.
  • Get enough sleep. Limit news and social media access before bedtime. Knowing up-to-the-minute statistics will not help you sleep better.
  • Eat as healthfully as possible. This will improve your mood, lower stress, and help keep your immunity up.
  • Exercise to help decrease stress.
  • Skip the alcohol, drugs, and compulsive behaviors that only temporarily decrease stress levels.
  • Notice what you don’t usually notice: sit outside, look around at the signs of spring and nature. Pay attention to how cute and loving your kids or pets are.
  • Make a mental note or actual list of 3 things you are grateful for every day. Focus on what you HAVE as opposed to what you are lacking.
  • Use technology wisely. Skip the push notifications and automatic news feeds. Limit your incoming information to a couple of reputable sources like: coronavirus.maryland.gov/
  • Seek out positive social support. Find friends, families, social, or spiritual communities that are supportive and reasonable in coping with this pandemic.
  • Help someone if you can see they are overwhelmed. Even small gestures can mean a lot. Likewise, if you need help, it’s okay to ask for it and accept it.
  • Accept that there are events that you cannot control. Take necessary precautions and follow recommendations, but do not obsess or panic.
  • Find fun activities that you can do online. Many places are offering virtual versions of shows and experiences that they normally provide. Take a virtual tour of some of the National Parks here.
  • Try using relaxation and meditation apps to help calm your mind in times of anxiety.
  • If you are losing sleep, frequently panicking, unable to function at your usual level due to your anxiety, then consider seeking help from a mental health professional!

*Click here for more information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)*
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