James Wallace is a normal person by all appearances. But in his mid-twenties, he was diagnosed with major depressive disorder. It’s something he speaks publicly about now.
"Living in these times, that's made depression’s job a lot easier because we are isolated," Wallace said.
Wallace knows the coronavirus times we are living in can affect anyone, not just people diagnosed with a mental health disorder.
"People that don't have a diagnosis are experiencing what I have experienced most of my life to some extent," Wallace said.
He shares how he copes by focusing on certain aspects of his life like spiritual, mental, and more.
"I take care of my physical which means getting that heart flowing,” Wallace said. “I take a bike ride every day as much as possible. My emotional health, being aware of that, how am I interacting with people whether it's online or on the phone."
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Elizabeth Scrivner is a licensed professional counselor at Park Cities Counseling. She believes many people are feeling a different mental state brought on by everything that’s happening because of coronavirus.
"I think most people are in a state of having a level of anxiety and depression," Scrivner said.
She advises you must take some time for self-care away from the stressful family life.
"Sometimes you need to walk around the block,” Scrivner said. “Or sometimes you need to go sit in your car, or your bathroom, or your bed or your closet."
But most importantly she said do something to feel you’ve accomplished something.
"Do your next best step,” Scrivner said. “So if that means getting up and you stay in your pj's or you do a Zoom half pj's, half jacket."
Scrivner added, "You take a step forward and a step forward and one back. Ultimately long term you start to make that path out of there."
The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention also says you must be kind to your mind. The CDC offers tips to cope with stress during COVID-19 including to pause, breath, and notice how you feel.
You should take breaks from COVID-19 content.
Make time to sleep and exercise.
Reach out and stay connected.
By all means, seek help if overwhelmed or unsafe.
Seeking help is important because you are not in this alone.
"It's important to remember that there is a purpose for you being on this planet,” Wallace said. “What you are going through right now does not have to define you."
If you or a loved one are in need of help you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
You can also text “CONNECT” TO 741741 anytime to reach trained, caring volunteers at the National Crisis Text Line.
Several other resources are included below. For more information just click on their name.