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Supporting A Healthier Community

• We're here to help members navigate COVID-19 •

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

For more information on Mental and Behavioral Health, please visit ExcellusBCBS.com for resources and support.

Addressing Anxiety and Stress During Isolation

The words coronavirus, COVID-19, and social distancing were not words we used just a couple months  ago. But now they are on many people’s minds. Some may consider these times isolating, recognizing how challenging loneliness can be. For those of us who are older, have compromised immune systems, or live with vulnerable loved ones, these certainly can be trying and anxiety-inducing times.

Experts say social distancing is one of the most effective methods that we can use to prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19. As a result, many of us will be spending more time at home over the next several weeks—maybe even months. The reality of spending a long period away from other humans can be quite daunting, especially if you live alone, are unable to visit loved ones, or are already lonely. Here are some tips and advice for ways to combat those feelings during this time.

Stay Connected
Instead of “social distancing”, think “physical distancing.”
Reach Out to Friends and Family
Take Care of Yourself
  • Get enough sleep each night and take naps if needed (listen to your body!)
  • Watch television (something lighthearted) or listen to the radio
  • Stay active for 30 minutes, 5 days per week
  • Explore mindfulness and meditation
  • Keep a diary: Perhaps make a video diary for your grandchildren
  • Watch a comedy: Laughter is an instant mood booster, have fun and try to laugh
  • Go for a walk outside or do some yard work
  • Maintain a positive attitude as much as possible
Things may be tough now, but remember you are never alone. People around the world are experiencing similar feelings. Reach out to others and be a source of light and encouragement. It will help to make this world a little less lonely. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if it feels overwhelming. Our behavioral health care managers are available at 1-800-277-2198 (TTY 1-800-662-1220), Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Counseling is also available over the phone through telemedicine.
Learn about Telemedicine

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Expert Q&A: How to Support Your Child’s Mental Health During the Pandemic

We sat down (virtually) with Dr. Saba Abaci, medical director for Safety Net Behavioral Health Children Services at Excellus BCBS to learn some tips for how to best support a child’s mental health during the pandemic.

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Reaching Out to Family and Friends While Hunkering Down

Connecting with others helps keep stress and anxiety at bay. And staying at home doesn’t have to be a barrier to being social. Thanks to technology, you can feel close to family, friends, and neighbors even when you need to stay physically apart.

Phone Calls and Video Chats

Video calls let you have face-to-face chats with loved ones who are across town or across the nation. There are many video call apps available for smartphones, tablets, and computers. Examples include Skype, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, and Google Duo. But if you’re not set up for video chatting, an ordinary phone call is great, too.

What matters most is having an opportunity to share what’s going on in your life. If you’re feeling worried or lonely, talk about your concerns and challenges with someone you trust. Reaching out for emotional support not only helps ease your anxiety right away, it also helps reduce lingering distress down the road.

More Ways to Stay Connected

Social media sites, such as Facebook, are ideal for sharing thoughts, photos, and videos. Plus, they’re good for catching up with old friends and far-flung relatives. If you want to update your whole social network at once about how you’re doing, social media makes that a snap. You can also send private messages to just one person, if you want.

Looking for more ways to stay in touch? Try texting or emailing. The important thing is making that human connection, however you choose to do it.

The Antidote to Loneliness

Reaching out remotely is a good substitute for socializing that helps fend off loneliness and boredom.

It’s not a one-way street, either. When you’re listening closely during a phone call or liking someone else’s Facebook post, you’re giving them support in return. The knowledge that you can still be there for others, even from a distance, may help you feel less stressed. And with so many communication tools to choose from, it’s easy to do.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help if it feels overwhelming. Our behavioral health care managers are available at 1-800-277-2198 (TTY 1-800-662-1220), Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Counseling is also available over the phone through telemedicine.
Learn about Telemedicine

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