Supporting your mental well-being by supporting others during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is normal to be experiencing increased stress and anxiety right now. Symptoms of increased stress or anxiety can include:

  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense
  • Experiencing a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom
  • Experiencing an increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
  • Experiencing difficulty controlling worry
  • Experiencing the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety

It is a challenging time for everyone, and the possibility of not celebrating the holidays in-person with loved ones, can lead to increased feelings of stress and anxiety.  It is important to be gentle with yourself and others, take appropriate measures to support overall mental well-being.

Support your mental well-being:

  • Find joy this season! Take an evening walk or visit nearby nature centers or trails.
  • Pay attention to your health by eating healthy foods, getting plenty of sleep, moving daily and connecting with nature for peace of mind.
  • Cope with healthy behaviors.  If you smoke or vape, try to limit or consider quitting; if you consume alcohol, try to limit or consider quitting.  Any illicit drug use is never recommended. Reach out for resources to help quit or if you are feeling overwhelmed.
  • Practice self-gratitude.  While it may seem difficult to find things to appreciate, there is still plenty to be thankful for. Make a conscious effort to identify the things you are grateful for on a consistent basis. 

Support your well-being by staying connected to loved ones during the COVID-19 response:

  • Use technology to stay in touch if available, especially video contact. Seeing someone’s facial expressions can help increase connection.
  • Check in with your friends, family, and neighbors on a regular basis using virtual tools to do things like a virtual dinner, movie or craft night.
  • Find new ways to connect with the people in your household. Use this time to improve your existing relationships!
  • Manage your stress. Create a daily self-care routine. Exercise, meditate, get outside, and keep to a daily routine as much as possible.
  • Show kindness to others in your community and help people in your life who may be more vulnerable.

Helping others can increases your sense of purpose and value, and help improve your own well-being. If you feel like you are struggling with your mental well-being, consider reaching out to your healthcare provider to get connected to some helpful resources.

If you are looking for a chance to connect with others, the RISE and SHINE Virtual Coffee & Connection series is a great opportunity!  You will have the option to play games and trivia, and explore new skills and local talent. The next RISE and SHINE Virtual Coffee and Connection will be on December 23rd, 2020, from 10-11 am. Grab your coffee, tea, milk or beverage of choice and join us! If you would like to receive the event link, call Polk County Public Health at 218-277-0898. Let us give the gift of time to ourselves and those around us.

Learn more:

Visit the Polk County Coronavirus Response Hub ( ), the Norman County COVID-19 website (  the Minnesota Department of Health ( ) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( ) websites for more COVID-19 information. Follow Polk County Public Health and Norman-Mahnomen Public Health on social media for local updates.