A recent post by Araya Baker, an activist-therapist, inspired me to write a post to provide support for those in my network who are struggling during this time. Araya posted a beautiful list of affirmations that can help people, especially marginalized folks, remain hopeful amid COVID-19. Read Araya’s post here.
I hope that Araya’s affirmations, as well as the resources I link below, can provide you some comfort and strength during this experience of collective trauma and grief cause by COVID-19. Here are my favorite affirmations.
- “COVID-19 recoveries are happening every day, and there is a collective effort beyond my awareness that will see us through.” – Araya Baker
- “Mitigating my distress with good news, joy, pleasure and self-care is a healing act of self-preservation, not self-indulgence.” – Araya Baker
Here are some resources I have collected. Some of these have helped me throughout this pandemic, and I will briefly note my experience if the resource is one I have used.
I recommend sticking to two sources regarding COVID-19: the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Cities are reopening prematurely and people are being misinformed daily by their local leadership. These two organizations will provide the most accurate information to keep you and your community safe.
The COVID-19 outbreak has caused a rise in stress, anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. (Source: Boston.gov) Especially considering the isolation many of feel during this time due to social distancing, it may be difficult to practice self-care or cope. Here are some resources that may be helpful.
- Here is a mental health resource list created by the City of Boston. Most resources are national, although a few are specific to Boston.
- NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, provides endless information and resources related to mental health. I recommend starting with their COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide and their article on Mental Health Coping Strategies.
- Here is a self-care guide for front-line workers created by Fenway Health. Fenway Health is the major health organization serving the LGBTQIA+ community in Boston.
- SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, has developed various resources in including a guide on coping with stress, a guide on social distancing, and tips for social distancing, quarantine, and self-isolation.
- Here is an article suggesting steps you can take if COVID-19 is triggering your anxiety or OCD, written by Elizabeth McIngvale.
- Here is an article describing the difference between anxiety and COVID-19 symptoms, written by Renee Fabian.
- On her Instagram, somatic coach and trauma specialist Irene Morning regularly posts resources about supporting our nervous systems throughout the pandemic.
- Additionally, here is a compilation of 52 mental health resources for disabled folks, people of color, LGBTQ+ folks, and other marginalized folks. This was written by Araya Baker in October 2018.
- Lastly, a compilation of 14 Organizations and People Working to Support BIPOC Mental Health During the Coronavirus Crisis.
A tip for LGBTQ+ people seeking counseling: Whenever you are seeking a counselor, especially through an app where I personally find it harder to communicate than face-to-face, I think it is important to ask screening questions. I have found that some counselors list LGBTQ+ specific care as a specialty when they have very limited experience, and I have found that other counselors with extensive experience don’t mention it. Here are some of the screening questions I recommend using: What is your experience working with the LGBTQ+ community? What training do you have related to LGBTQ+ care?
- A counseling app I have found easy to use is BetterHelp. You fill out your preferences, the app matches you to a counselor, and you can switch your counselor anytime you want. The first week is free, and financial aid is available.
- Another app I have used is PrideCounseling, which operates using a similar model and also offers financial aid.
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Featured image by @glencarrie.