- Turn off media and news for some time each day. While it is important to stay updated, having the news on all day can be overwhelming. Ensure you have time away from social media and the news so you can take time for yourself, and for your family.
- Develop a plan. If your fears are around the need to prepare your family, take some time to discuss a plan with your loved ones on how to handle the need for quarantine, or supplies, etc. Once you have a plan in place, this may help you feel more at ease.
- If you are unable to leave home, make sure you have a plan to have groceries, medications and other essential items delivered or dropped off. Ask a neighbor that is able to go outside, or utilize social media and online local message boards.
- Being stuck inside for prolonged times can be overwhelming and demotivating. If it helps, set up a schedule to follow for you and your family. Having times set aside for specific activities may help add structure and normalcy back into your day.
- Talk to your healthcare team about any questions you have related to your risk. While patients are recommended to continue their medications, there may be other questions or concerns that you want to have addressed. Give your healthcare provider a call to discuss your concerns.
- Seek a mental health professional. Contact your healthcare team to learn if there are any mental health providers they recommend. If you have a mental health provider in mind, call in advance and inquire about the ability to do a visit virtually. The Rome Foundation offers a directory of psychologists that have gastrointestinal expertise.
- Begin a regular stress management practice through the use of relaxation, mindfulness or meditation. The following apps are helpful to create your routine: Smiling Mind, Mindfulness Coach, Buddhify, Headspace, Calm, etc.*
- Try some coping mechanisms to help you de-stress. Whether it is cooking your favorite meal, taking a relaxing bath, or mindful breathing, there are many options you can try. These videos offer some suggestions from other IBD patients and caregivers:
- Connect with friends and family. There are many ways to connect with others through technology. Take time to check in with your loved ones, with video conferencing, or phone calls.
- If possible, enjoy fresh air while following social distancing recommendations. If you have a backyard, take advantage of some time outdoors. Even if you can’t go outside, try to stay active. There are many online videos you can do at home to keep your body moving. Call your local gym and ask if they recommend or host any online workouts.
- Find support through the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation or other local resources. During this time of recommended social distancing, there are many virtual resources available that you can access at the convenience of your own home, including: