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Stay mentally fit during COVID-19

A graphic displaying ways to stay mentally fit during coronavirus disease 2019.

April is Stress Awareness Month. The graphic displays several ways for people to keep mentally fit during coronavirus disease 2019. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Taylor D. Slater)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --

With coronavirus disease 2019 disrupting many normal routines it’s easy to have one’s mental health stray away from them.

The 86th Medical Group is available to help with any stressors, including those related to COVID-19. The group established a COVID-19 Stress Line April 6.

“It’s open to anybody that wants to call that just needs some extra support,” said Master Sgt. Codi Bowman, 86th Medical Operations Squadron mental health superintendent. “It could be if you’re just at home and feeling stressed out or just want to talk to somebody. It allows people to call up and talk to a mental health resource without having to come in or it be on your record.”

The following are some tips for those looking to ease their stress levels during uncertain times. While indoors, organize your home; make your living space comfortable; and stay connected to loved ones while limiting screen time to not adversely affect sleep schedules. If in isolation, make sure to keep close to the window on sunny days to help maintain vitamin D levels. Experts also recommended going outside at least once a day, even just to take a walk.

Finally, it’s recommended everyone maintains daily routines, including keeping up with daily hygiene.

“Even if you don’t interact with other people, it just helps you feel better about yourself,” Bowman said.

The mental health office is open for appointments from Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Patients can call DSN 479-2390 or 06371-46-2390 commercially to make an appointment.

“Even though you’re isolated, there are lots of resources out there you can rely on to connect with people,” Bowman said. “Don’t feel like you can’t reach out.”

In the interim, patients can also call DSN 480-9001 or commercially at 06371-47-9001 and press option 3 to be forwarded to a medical provider for assistance with insomnia, depression, loneliness, anxiety or anger.

The hotline is not a suicide or domestic violence hotline. If you have thoughts of harming yourself or others, please dial 112, call DSN 479-2390 or commercially at 06371-46-2390. If you are a victim of domestic violence, call DSN 479-2370 or commercially at 06371-46-2370.