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Stress Awareness & Care Month
With COVID-19, it’s time to check in – and to keep checking in – with ourselves. Many of us have been staying home to stay safe. Others have had to leave home to do work that keeps our counties running. All of us must do our best to shelter in place to tamp down COVID-19 spread. Either way, we may all be faced with new levels of stress and strong, hard feelings.

Pandemics or spreading disease outbreaks can cause stress in many forms, such as:

  • Changes in sleep patterns.
  • Problems sleeping or focusing.
  • Greater use of alcohol, tobacco or other mixtures.
  • And in the end, weaker immune systems.

You can help cut stress with these actions –

  • Take breaks—There is a lot of news out there. Take some time away from the news and do something healthy you enjoy.
  • Take care of your body—Stretch, take deep breaths, eat healthy, and sleep.
  • Make time to unwind—Try new projects or rekindle your love of old hobbies you at last have time for.
  • Link with others—Call or text family or friends. Talk to people you trust about how you are feeling.

Those who have a history of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues may feel more stress or worsening symptoms. If you or someone you care about are feeling overwhelmed call:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • San Joaquin County Crisis Phone (there 24/7): 209-468-8686
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)
  • Stanislaus County Health Services:

Here are some ideas from the California Surgeon General’s Playbook on stress management:

Mental Health

To members of Health Plan of San Joaquin, we are saying – If you are feeling overwhelmed, or worried about family members:

  • Get help from HPSJ Customer Service or your county mental health plan
  • See helpful tips from American Red Cross, Coping with Shelter-in-Place Emergencies
  • HPSJ members can call Beacon Health Strategies at 1.888.581.7526

Members and all the community residents can bookmark https://www.hpsj.com/coronavirus/ for these and more resources.

© Health Plan of San Joaquin, April 2020, permission to reprint in full, with attribution.

Posted on April 22nd, 2020

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