Psychologist shares some easy tips for self-care while self-isolating

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)– One in five American adults experience some kind of mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. With many people at home, some might be concerned about their ongoing mental health needs, especially when it comes to anxiety.

Even psychologists like Allison Allmon Dixson are finding themselves overwhelmed at times.

“One of the things that I think that has been helpful for me is to be able to identify and take control of what I can,” said Allmon Dixson, a pediatric psychologist and behavioral health consultant for Gundersen Health System.

That sentiment goes for all of us. She said it’s important to take care of ourselves, especially as a caregiver or parent. If your kids are having a break, take one too.

“If they’re having reading time for school at home, you could take that time and do some things that you need to do like read,” Allmon Dixson said.

Both Allmon Dixson and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending a few tips as we stay inside.

“One of the things I’ve been telling adults, parents, caregivers, is to take care of their bodies,” Allmon Dixson said.

That means taking time to do activities you enjoy, getting good sleep, eating healthy meals or exercising. Some celebrities and other public figures have been putting their workout routines on social media to help others.

“I know y’all recognize this song. C’mon. Put your hands together,” said Debbie Allen, during a workout she posted to her Instagram account.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the news, maybe schedule a time to check in with trusted sources.

“Take a break from it throughout the day,” Allmon Dixson said.

Even though we might not be able to see loved ones in person, we can still send texts, use FaceTime or Skype, or call them. Be sure to share positive messages with each other. For example, on Wednesday, TV show host Ellen DeGeneres posted a video to Facebook of her calling musician Adam Levine.

It may be hard, but try to stay positive. Allmon Dixson suggests writing down things that you’re thankful for right now and actively sharing that with others.

“People often have specific strategies they use to manage anxiety in the past, but these are just a few that maybe people could add into their daily schedules right now, particularly at this time of extreme stress,” Allmon Dixson said.

If you are concerned about harming yourself or others, there are immediate resources. Please call the National Suicide Hotline if you need help. That number is (800) 273-8255.