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How to Manage Mental Illness During a Difficult Time

Sep 15, 2020

Mental illness can have an effect on your daily life, even in normal times. But during a difficult time, those symptoms can be exacerbated, and become even harder to manage.

It’s Okay to Not be Okay 

If you find yourself struggling with your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not alone. People with and without a history of mental illness are finding it hard to manage their mental health during this time. 

Our staff members are seeing it every day – the pandemic can be hard on those who already have a mental health condition. Feelings of uncertainty, isolation, and detachment from the community can elevate symptoms.

“Think about sitting in a one-bedroom apartment for 24 hours a day seven days a week, and the only solace is a quick visit [from your mental health team] for medications or necessities,” says Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Case Manager Kary, “It makes every fear more unbearable.”

Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health During the Pandemic

    1. Continue your mental health treatment. Keep taking your medications and continue working with your providers to manage your mental illness. It’s also good to watch for new or worsening symptoms. 
    2. Keep your routines. Having a schedule can be good for your mental health. Continue to take care of your personal hygiene. Try to keep your sleep on a normal schedule, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
    3. Keep healthy habits. Staying active is an important part of maintaining your mental health. As Kary says, “I would encourage getting outside and walking for 30 minutes a day.” Getting outside might also help ease feelings of isolation.
    4. Take time to relax. The influx of information about the pandemic can be stressful to absorb. Make sure to take time for yourself and the activities you enjoy.
    5. Reach out. Connecting with friends and family can help you feel less isolated, and remind you that you aren’t alone in your feelings.
    6. Stay in the present moment. When life is uncertain, thinking of what’s to come next can be stressful. Focus on what’s going on right now, and the things you are able to control, like social distancing and taking care of yourself.
    7. Take care of your physical health. Follow distancing and mask guidelines. If you need to see a doctor, see if your provider does virtual telehealth. 
    8. Know the facts about COVID-19. Make sure you’re getting your information from reliable sources, like the CDC. Avoid reading from untrustworthy sources, which may provide misleading or harmful information that can increase stress or put your health at risk.
    9. Know that you aren’t alone. Feeling isolated and stressed are normal reactions to dealing with the pandemic, and you aren’t the only one feeling them. Talking with others The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers online discussion and support groups.

In-person mental health treatment is still available for individuals who need immediate attention. Some hospitals and treatment centers are also continuing to take in patients with urgent symptoms. 

The most important thing to do if you’re experiencing an increase in negative symptoms is to talk to your mental health provider or get connected to care. If you aren’t sure where to start, call our team at (651) 925-8490.

Guild is Still Up and Running

We strive to always be there for our community, and the pandemic won’t stop that. Guild has adapted to COVID-19 by incorporating new health and safety measures, including shifting many of our programs to virtual telehealth.

If you are in need of services, call our Community Access team at (651) 925-8490. We would be happy to meet you!



Coping with Stress, Center for Disease Control. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19), Center for Disease Control. 

Getting Through a Pandemic When you Have a Mental Health Condition, University of Michigan.

COVID-19 and your Mental Health, Mayo Clinic.

COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide, National Alliance on Mental Illness.