By now, many of us may be familiar with the usual advice for weathering the stress and challenges of anxiety-provoking situations. Maintaining your usual routines, taking care of your health, eating well and exercising, staying informed yet not drowning in news and social media feeds, connecting with friends, family and activities that nourish you emotionally... These activities are all more important than ever, yet they may be unavailable to us in ways we are used to.
We encourage you to be creative in order to prioritize your emotional wellness. Some of the ways our team are adapting the "tools in their toolboxes" include:
- Setting up video chats with groups of friends around the country and using the opportunity to reconnect
- Maintaining a yoga practice by engaging with local studios livestreaming classes
- Reading stories to grandchildren over video chat
- Scheduling virtual coffee dates, dinners or workouts with friends
- Setting aside time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air while maintaining an appropriate social distance
- Crafting cards to send to nursing homes
- Connecting with faith communities online
- Decorating sidewalks with uplifting messages and creating rainbows to hang in windows
- Exploring no-cost books, movies and music from the Westchester Library System
- Starting a daily gratitude journal to reflect on the good things that have happened
We've compiled the information below to help you explore resources and advice as we all adapt to a "new normal" for the time being.
Mental Health, Wellness and Staying Connected
- Tips For Social Distancing, Quarantine, And Isolation During An Infectious Disease Outbreak - SAMHSA outlines typical reactions you may experience during social distancing, quarantine or isolation and important ways to support yourself
- Managing Stress and Anxiety - The CDC provides helpful tips for coping with stress that will make you, the people you are about and your community stronger. A special section covers signs of stress and anxiety in children and teenagers and ways caregivers can support young people.
- Social Support: Getting And Staying Connected - Mental Health America offers tips on creating a plan to make, keep and strengthen connections in your life. While in-person get-togethers are put on hold, consider adapting their advice for telephone and video chats.
- Mental Health Considerations for Specific Populations - WHO shares emotional wellness advice for the general population, healthcare workers and managers, caretakers of children, caretakers of older adults, and people in isolation.
- Frequently Asked Questions on Mental Health, Mental Illness, and COVID-19 - The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) created a document to help guide individuals that have specific questions about their mental health situations.
- myStrength - A virtual toolkit designed to benefit your emotional health, myStrength can help you develop skills and resilience to navigate through stressful times. A free resource courtesy of MHA, myStrength allows you to track your mood, listen to guided meditations, browse articles about specific emotional wellness topics, and more, all from your computer or smartphone app.
- How to Help Someone with Anxiety - Mental Health First Aid shares ways to figure out how you can reach out to someone with anxiety and get the person the support they need.
- COVID-19: Potential Implications for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- Manejando el estrés asociado con el brote del virus COVID-19
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: Resources for victims of domestic violence. 800-799-7233
- Feeding Westchester Food Distribution
- Westchester County Updates
- Legal Services of the Hudson Valley - In addition to civil legal issues affecting basic human needs, LSHV can assist with the following issues that may arise during this time: eviction and foreclosure prevention; illegal lock out; issues with utility shut offs; domestic violence (orders of protection, custody and visitation); immigration; unemployment issues; consumer protection; SNAP/HEAP/Medicaid/Temporary Assistance; SSI/SSD/Overpayment issues; Elder Law issues; employment/workers’ rights related to COVID-19; and entitlement to federal and state benefits in response to COVID-19.
- My Sisters' Place: Offers legal support, counseling, mentoring, and skills training to victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Genera: 914-683-1333. Crisis Hotline: 1-800-298-7233. Intake: 914-358-0333
- Westchester County Office for Women: Provides counseling, legal, and supportive services for women and families who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Information is available on childcare, education, equal pay, legal issues, employment, financial planning and women’s health. 914- 995-5972 (English), 914-995-6581 (Spanish); Yonkers 914-231-2882.
- Hope’s Door: Offers counseling and emergency services to victims of domestic violence. 888-438-8700.
- Putnam/Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center: Offers counseling and emergency services to victims of domestic violence. 845-628-9284 (Office)/845-628-2166 (Hotline)
- NYS Child Abuse and Maltreatment: 800-342-3720
- NYS Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline: 24-hour, toll-free, statewide hotline that offers information and crisis counseling to abused women and children. (English): 1-800-942-6906 (TTY English): 1-800-818-0656 (Spanish): 1-800-942-6908 (TTY Spanish):1-800-780-7660
Employment & Insurance Resources
- Department of Labor: Resources for Workers and Employers
- Unemployment Assistance - COVID-19 Update: NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines.
- Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured New Yorkers - Individuals who enroll in Qualified Health Plans through NY State of Health or directly through insurers between March 16 and April 15, 2020 will have coverage effective starting April 1, 2020. Individuals who are eligible for other NY State of Health programs – Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus – can enroll year-round.
- Westchester County Schools Food Distribution Plans
- Talking with children about COVID-19: Messages for parents, school staff, and others working with children (CDC)
- The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline - We recognize that for those with children at home, stress may be building and our usual ways of staying calm and in control may be overextended. Phone support is available through the Childhelp Hotline by calling or texting -800-422-4453. Live chat is also available here >>>
COVID-19 Health Information
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: COVID-19
- New York State Department of Health: COVID-19
- World Health Organization: COVID-19
If you have questions about COVID-19, please call one of the hotlines below:
- People under self-quarantine or exposure to known case: 1-866-588-0195
- NYS Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
- Westchester County COVID-19 Information: 211