Local psychologist on self-quarantining and mental health

Butler Hospital doctor with advice on handling isolation amid coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Around 2300 Rhode Islanders are currently under self-quarantine.

“You’re taking away from people all the usual things they do, their usual routine, and that in and of itself is difficult, so that’s always going to have an impact anytime our routine is disrupted, in addition to the anxiety of do I have this virus and how sick am I going to get,” said Dr. Lisa Uebelacker, who heads up the psychosocial research program at Butler Hospital in Providence.

Uebelacker and I talked about how to handle that kind of isolation.

“There’s no miracle answer, right? It’s about stamina, coping and keeping going, even though you may not feel good,” said Uebelacker.

That’s easier said than done, but Uebelacker says there are some things you can do to keep your mental health in check.

“If you could establish a routine that’s a good idea,” said Uebelacker. “Trying to do things that you enjoy, that are distracting, that are meaningful to you and keeping that up throughout the time period, I think is the best.”

Exercising and eating healthy are also key, as well as staying in contact with the outside world as best you can.

“They to reach out to friends and family via phone or text and Facetime,” said Uebelacker.

If you’re quarantined with your family, be honest with your kids about what’s happening, and try to keep them active.

“If you can, play games, do things with your kids to distract them, to get them through the time period,” said Uebelacker.

And if it’s all getting to be too much, remember professional help is just a phone call away.

“If you really need to reach out to talk to someone, do it. Absolutely do it,” said Uebelacker.

If you’re in need of help, you can call Butler Hospital’s Behavioral Health Service Call center 24/7 at (844) 401-0111, and for more information visit butler.org.

© WLNE-TV/ABC6 2020

 

Categories: Coronavirus, Massachusetts, News, Providence, Rhode Island, Your Health