COLORADO SPRINGS — In part four of “Overcoming COVID-19,” FOX21 Digital NOW focused on the effects the coronavirus pandemic have made on our local housing market.
This series is a chance to zero in on our community during these uncertain times, assess what our friends and neighbors are doing to get by, and offer guidance on what each of us can do to help.
The fifth and final segment of Overcoming COVID-19 sheds light on mental health and wellness, how to beat the “isolation blues” and where to find help.
First, remember isolation does not mean completely shutting yourself off from the world. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely.
Dannie De Novo is a happiness coach; she serves people and organizations by helping them adjust the thought patterns and any learned behavior that may no longer serve them.
“More and more research is being done on the physical end,” De Novo said, of lonlieness. “They’re saying that it is as detrimental to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, it increases your risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It really impacts any chronic disease out there.”
The technology many of us have access to today, can help us stave off lonliness by keeping us in virtual contact with friends and family. Many apps, such as FaceTime if you have an iPhone, the ever-booming Zoom app, and the classic Skype are available for free.
De Novo says it’s important to remember the things in life you can control, a concept with which Dr. Charles Benight, a psychology professor at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, agrees.
“The parents’ reactions really drive a lot of what the kids’ reactions are,” Benight said. “If the parents can feel calm and sort of feel like they’re in control of moving things forward, the kids will do better.”
Benight suggests enjoying meals together, studying together in the evenings, and finding time to take a walk around the block – maintaining, of course, proper social distance.
Remember, Governor Jared Polis’ stay-at-home order allows you to go outside for exercise, so if you need a break, hop on your bike or step outside.
However, it’s important to recognize this is a challenging time and focusing on the positives may not always come easy.
If you find yourself feeling disconnected, stressed out, or depressed, resources, including virtual counseling, are available.
- National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-TALK
- Veteran Crisis Hotline 1-800-273-8255 Press 1
- There’s also an online chat-room: www.veterancrisisline.net
- UCCS Veteran Health and Trauma Clinic (719) 255-8003
- Greater Resilience Information Toolkit (Mental health support) https://grit.uccs.edu/