How to maintain emotional wellness during COVID-19

The Georgia Department of Health reports an alarming surge in emergency rooms related to overdose as the COVID-19 crisis persists.

Health officials say periods of uncertainty can add to everyday worries. Therefore, the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities offers tips on how to maintain emotional well-being during the pandemic.

For those who may have drug problems:

Consider meeting and checking in to connect with someone about drug or alcohol addiction. In addition to personal meetings, Coweta FORCE offers free check-ins virtually via Zoom, by telephone or in person.

For more information, please visit www.CowetaForce.org or the Coweta FORCE Facebook page or call 678-633-5688.

For information on online Narcotics Anonymous meetings, visit www.virtual-na.org. For more information on local Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, please visit www.atlantaaa.org.

The Georgia Council on Substance Abuse hosts online meetings and operates the CARES Warm Line for people in need of assistance. The phone line is manned daily from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and can be reached by phone or SMS at 844-326-5400. You can find online meeting schedules at www.gasubstanceabuse.org.

Have naloxone ready in case of an opioid overdose. Naloxone (Narcan or Evzio) is a drug used to quickly reverse an opioid overdose and is available at local pharmacies.

In the event of an overdose, do not run away. You are protected by medical amnesty – the law of the Good Samaritan – so it is always safe to call 911 and wait for help.

Keep medication safe or lock it away. Keep current medications away from children and pets, and put old or unused medications in a drug drop box. Dropboxes are located at the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office at 560 Greison Trail in Newnan and on the Newnan Police Department at 1 Joseph Hannah Blvd. in Newnan.

General emotional wellness tips

Connect with others. Reach out to friends and loved ones to see how they are feeling, not just physically but emotionally as well. Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation.

Be your own lawyer. Focus on your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of your household.

Manage your stress:

• Relax your body by taking deep breaths, stretching, meditating, praying, doing yoga, or doing other activities that you enjoy.

• Take care of yourself however it works for you.

• Watch a fun TV show or movie. Humor can help reduce stress.

• Try activities like reading, board games, gardening, or putting puzzles together.

• Make a schedule and stick to it, but give yourself the flexibility to take a break from this schedule if necessary.

• Limit your caffeine intake. Caffeinated drinks can include coffee, tea, and soda.

Increase mental strength:

• Notice when everything is going well.

• Get a consistent, restful sleep.

• Eat well-balanced meals to increase your physical strength.

• If necessary, seek professional assistance.

Understand the risk. Use credible sources to keep up to date, but remember that it’s okay to take breaks from the news.

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The Georgia COVID-19 Emotional Support Line provides free and confidential assistance to callers who need emotional support or information on resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emotional Support Line is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals and others trained in crisis counseling. Call 866-399-8938 between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.

The Georgia Crisis & Access Line (GCAL) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-715-4225.

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