LIMA — The emotional and mental health aspects of living in a pandemic is sometimes forgotten.
Some people aren’t coping very well with the thought of a loved one coming down with COVID-19 and getting seriously ill or dying.
On Saturday, Cornerstone of Hope in Lima conducted a free virtual workshop to help connect the general public with information that can help them cope better during the pandemic.
The workshops are made possible through the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties.
“One of the great privileges that we have at Cornerstone of Hope is to really educate people on how their brain is wired, and how we have skills to have a say in how our bodies and emotions respond to what’s going on around us,” said Keri Taylor, executive director of Cornerstone of Hope, Lima. “Because the pandemic has hit everyone, everyone’s feeling the stress, the chronic stress from that and really grief over what we’ve lost during this time. We helped bring some self-awareness to that. We teach people how to actually flip from just focusing on what they can’t control, to focusing on what they can do during this time, and really giving them a ton of skills to use that they can apply not only during this pandemic, but anytime in life that they’re dealing with a stress or anxiety or, or difficult moment.”
Many people have known someone who has contracted COVID-19, and the feeling associated with their illness has affected them individually.
“There is way more that we can do than what we can’t right now. But when people have seen when they focus in on all of the difficulty around them, and the negative impact of those things are witnessing, it’s really hard to shift gears to, ‘What can I do to make sure I am as healthy as I can be or to make sure that that mentally I’m managing myself in a way so that I can remain resilient during this time. And so that’s kind of what we’re teaching people,” Taylor said.
Taylor says there are several ways of coping.
“We teach some elements of deep breathing and muscle relaxation. Those are a couple that research has shown do some quick de-escalating of that stress response. We also see some practical things like how music or how movement, how gratefulness and all of those kinds of aspects of those different types of coping how they have a role in affecting how we think — what parts of the brain we’re tapping into so that we can manage our stress well,” Taylor said.
Faith also plays a role in coping.
“Faith is a huge component in this, and we really believe that,” Taylor said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.