A Reddit user named baby_lawn has shared a collection of mental health resources for free to help people with mental illnesses cope with social isolation.
Sharing the post to Reddit, they said:
“I put together a Google Driver Folder with over 40 free mental health resources (books, worksheets, workbooks, guides) to help other cope with anxiety/fear, addiction, depression, suicidal ideation and stress.”
The list was very well received by Reddit users, who quickly accumulated over 500 comments on the thread, posted to the subforum R/Coronavirus.
The resources are separated into various different subcategories, including folders for addiction, anxiety and a gratitude journal. As well as this, there are several full length books, workbooks and handouts – it’s a treasure trove of resources.
Another user, Skinnerianslip, is a clinical psychologist and posted their top tips for helping relieve stress, anxiety and depression whilst unable to see a therapist due to lockdown.
“I’m a clinical psychologists with expert training in DBT. Here’s some tips to help use these skills without spending an arm and a leg on treatment.
“Distress tolerance skills are especially useful if you have acute distress that’s getting in the way of effective problem solving.
If you have a lot of future oriented worry thoughts: Try “check the facts” for some easy cognitive restructuring. If the thoughts are overwhelming, try “mindfulness of current thoughts.” You can also try “cope ahead,” if your thoughts lead to being depressed/overwhelmed/overly anxious. Incidentally, cope ahead is based on the skill of “imaginal rehearsal,” which is what sports psychologists use to get athletes prepared to be more effective in high stress situations.”
They explained that not all techniques work for everyone – but simple mindfulness exercises are a good and simple way to start.
Mindfulness is all great–do it for five minutes a day, and try to add a minute if you can. You can focus on your breath, or if that’s not your jam, focus on something externally. Just focus on one thing at a time, without judgement. Loving kindness meditation might be particularly potent for some.
We can all practice a little “radical acceptance,” (found in the distress tolerance module). If you notice yourself fighting reality, or even this moment, you may be avoiding some emotion you don’t want to experience–maybe fear or sadness.
Just an FYI: I’m a psychologist, I was trained by several world class treatment developers, I am on a texting/phone call basis with some most skilled psychotherapists…and I’m also going a little crazy. This is hard! You’re not going crazy, it’s not just you. Please take some time to validate yourself (GIVE skills in DBT interpersonal effectiveness).”
More replies can be found on the initial thread.
It should be noted that, whilst the user is verified, it is always worth taking internet advice with large pinches of salt.
Featured image credit: UnSplash / Reddit