ATLANTA — The surgeon general has warned this week will become a dark moment in American history.
Federal officials say calls into the “Disaster Distress Helpline” set up to help Americans suffering from emotional distress is up 891% since last year. And it is likely due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Uncertainty, isolation and stress are just some of the mental health challenges we face during while practicing social distancing and sheltering in place.
"You’re worrying about what’s going to happened, what happened yesterday," said Dr. Sherry, Ph.D.
Overnight, our regular routines have been thrown off balance and major events canceled - like weddings, vacations, graduations and proms.
Psychologists Dr. Paula Bloom and Dr. Sherry both say it’s normal to feel anxiety right now. It can feel overwhelming, but there are things you can do to cope.
"Having a sense of routine is really important. It helps anchor us," says Dr. Bloom, clinical psychologist.
Having that anchor will affect those around you, like your children.
"Check in with them. It is so important to check in with them and ask them and understand their fears, understand what they’re concerned about," said Dr. Sherry.
And she says staying connected to loved ones can give us the best comfort we need during these stressful times.
"Although we’re socially distant it doesn’t mean we are socially isolated," said Dr. Sherry. "So pick up the phone Facetime, connect with people especially those at risk."
As the weeks are expected to get worse before they get better, there may be moments when it all feels like too much, but Dr. Bloom says you’re stronger than you think.
"Take a step back and think about a time in your life when you confronted something difficult," she said. "Think about what you felt like then and how you came through it."