Allay Psychological Services

Quarantine Survival Kit

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FORESIGHT/w Andre Covington

Special guests Tara Lynn Gray CEO of FMBCC and Dr. Reshale Thomas.

Covid 19 the Psychological side and signs.

Learn what they are and how to get help.

Life in quarantine can be stressful. Yet, black and brown communities are disproportionately affected by
COVID-19. [1] This includes increased vulnerability due to interpersonal and systemic discrimination, barriers to
healthcare access, inadequate housing, ungainful employment, and limited resources. [2] Consequently, persons of color can experience disparate levels of stress, physical illness, and other threats to collective wellbeing. In addition to the history of complex trauma often found in communities of color, life during a global pandemic can add yet another layer of trauma that can negatively impact our lives and the lives of our loved ones.


This Quarantine Survival Kit can assist our communities to increase adequate self-care practices and promote
a greater sense of health, wellbeing, and the ability to thrive during these uncertain times.

GET ACTIVE

Stress can manifest as physical symptoms including restlessness, muscle tension, body aches, and feeling weak or tired. Still, there are ways to release nervous energy and elevate mood. This can be as simple as walking briskly inside the comfort of your home or getting fresh air for at least 5 minutes out of your day. [3] [4] Another important component of caring for yourself includes nourishing your body by consuming balanced and nutritionally rich meals. [5]

BE MINDFUL

Mindfulness arouses the inner workings of our mental, emotional, and physical functioning. [6] Mindfulness also helps us remain in the present moment, rather than ruminating on past regrets or the uncertain future. To remain calm and centered, try deep breathing, preparing and slowly enjoying your favorite meal, or develop a short list of things you are grateful for. Simple acts like these not only reinforce mental wellbeing but also
promote physical health.

TURN OFF THE NEWS

Wanting to follow the news during a global crisis is understandable but how much is too much? Studies suggest constant exposure to triggering events can cause harm. If you notice yourself becoming anxious or worried after reading or watching press coverage, step back from the news. Other recommendations include removing disturbing information from your social media feeds and muting or hiding information from friends that share upsetting posts. [7]

GET PROPER SLEEP

Sleep deprivation leads to unstable mood, fatigue, and decreased immune response. One of the best ways to protect mental wellness is getting adequate sleep. Research suggests adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. This is achieved by improving one’s sleep schedule, developing a bedtime routine, and creating a sleep-inducing ambiance in your bedroom (e.g., dimed lighting, free of noise disturbance). [8]  

DO YOUR PART

An important aspect of managing anxiety is accepting what is beyond our control. Recognize what you can control. You may not be able to control other people but you can do your part in decreasing harm and risk. This includes wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently, and practicing social distancing. [5]

STAY CONNECTED

Maintaining meaningful connections with others can have a protective effect and strengthen our ability to withstand trauma. Whether it is with family, friends, or acquaintances, a sense of community and belongingness is vital to overall wellbeing. Connecting with others on a daily basis is essential. A simple phone call to loved ones, eye contact, or a smile at a stranger can go a long way.


Staying safe and socially connected can occur simultaneously. Developing a household cleaning routine and having designated family members run household errands can help reduce risk and give everyone a sense of purpose and motivation to keep the family safe. In addition, staying safe and connected can be fun, too! Johns Hopkins University suggests a number of physically distanced games and activities (in-person or electronically) to play with your family and friends, including board and card games, dominos, Pictionary, word games, movie night, or trivia. [9]

GET SUPPORT

Everyone needs a little help at some point. In the midst of a global pandemic, we could all use someone to talk to. In fact, life in quarantine has left many people with no other choice but to face longstanding issues that have been avoided with work, school, church, and other activities. Whether you are dealing with past hurts and trauma, preexisting mental health challenges, or new stressors related to COVID-19 and the recent social- the political climate, seeking help from a trained mental health professional can offer a much-needed respite from the usual suffering-in-silence. In addition to the National Suicide Hotline (800.273.TALK) and Text Line (text HOME to 741741), local mental health providers can be found on the Psychology Today website.

WELLBEING QUESTIONNAIRE

In the past 2 weeks, have you experienced:


Feeling down, sad, agitated or lonely?

Yes or No

Feeling stressed, irritable, nervous or overwhelmed?

Yes or No

Feeling lethargic, tense, difficulty sleeping/sleeping too much, restlessness, or unable to concentrate?

Yes or No

Feeling hopeless/helpless, trapped, or thought of hurting yourself/someone else?

Yes or No

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these, please consider contacting Allay Psychological Services at
at 559.721.2960 or info@allaypsych.com.

QUARANTINE LIFE FOR KIDS & ADOLESCENTS

According to the American Psychological Association, ‘school connectedness’ is the belief held by a child that teachers, administrators, and peers at school care about them as individuals. This is especially important for children and adolescents at increased risk for feeling isolated from others (e.g., students with disabilities, those experiencing homelessness). [10] With students engaged in virtual learning, their sense of connectedness has been reduced. In turn, students are at increased risk for anxiety and depression. In children and adolescents this can look like irritability, refusing to do school work, spending too much time alone, or feeling afraid. The National Association of School Psychologists suggests the following guidelines: [11]

 

  •  Focus on the positive – celebrate having more time to spend as a family, when possible.

  • Maintain a daily routine – this creates control and predictability which makes children feel safe.

  • Monitor television viewing and social media – dismiss rumors and inaccurate information.

  • Allow older children to connect virtually with their friends.

  • Model basic hygiene and healthy lifestyle practices like routine hand washing.

  • Offer children and adolescents extra love and affection

 

It is imperative to pay attention to your child’s mental health. Parents and caregivers should contact a mental health professional if their child exhibits significant changes in behavior or any of the following symptoms for more than 2 weeks: [11]

 

  • Preschoolers—thumb sucking, bedwetting, clinginess to caregiver(s), sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, fear of the dark, regression in behavior, and withdrawal.

  • Elementary school children—irritability, aggressiveness, clinginess, nightmares, school avoidance, poor concentration, and withdrawal from activities and friends.

  •  Adolescents—sleeping and eating disturbances, agitation, increase in conflicts, physical complaints, delinquent behavior, and poor concentration.

REFERENCES AND RESOURCES

[1] Millet G. A., Jones A. T., Benkeser D., et al. (2020). Assessing differential impacts of COVID-19 on black
communities. Annals of Epidemiology, 47, 37-44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2020.05.003.


[2] Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (n.d.). Social determinants of health.
https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-of-health.


[3] Hibbert, C. (2016, May 23). Exercise for mental health: 8 Keys to get and stay moving. National Alliance on
Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/blogs/nami-blog/may-2016/exercise-for-mental-health-8-keys-to-get-
and-stay
.


[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, November 4). How to be physically active while social
distancing. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/how-to-be-physically-active-while-social-distancing.html.


[5] Markle, E. (2020, April 29). 4 ingredients for human well-being. https://www.mindful.org/4-ingredients-for-
human-well-being/
.


[7] McLean Hospital. (2020, October 31). How much news is too much news for good mental health?
https://www.mcleanhospital.org/essential/how-much-news-too-much-news-good-mental-health.

[8] Suni, E. (2020, July 30). Healthy sleep tips. Sleep Foundation.
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/healthy-sleep-tips.


[9] Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Well-Being. (n.d.). Staying safe and socially connected.
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/joy-at-jhm/office-of-well-
being/COVID/docs.html/Staying_Safe_and_Socially_Connected_final.pdf
.


[10] American Psychological Association. (2014). School connectedness.
https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/programs/safe-supportive/school-connectedness.

 

[11] National Association of School Psychologists. (2020). Helping children cope with changes resulting from
COVID-19. https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-
safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/helping-children-cope-with-changes-resulting-from-covid-19
.

RELATED RESOURCES

Physical Activity Recommendations
cdc.gov/physicalactivity


Sleep Hygiene Recommendations
SleepFoundation.org


Mindfulness Exercises
Mindful.org


COVID-19 Preventative Practices
cdc.gov/coronavirus

ABOUT US

The Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce is a locally-based membership organization with a global reach advancing the interests of the greater African-American business community.

ADDRESS

1444 Fulton Street

Ste. 206

 Fresno, CA 93721

559-441-7929

info@fmbcc.com

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