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Media Releases

Posted on: April 2, 2020

Managing Stress

Kootenai County, ID: Under Governor Little’s “Stay-Home” order many are finding themselves in situations they’ve never experienced before. Reported COVID-19 cases in Kootenai County are rising and community transmission is present, with that social distancing has become normal in our daily activities. However, social distancing doesn’t mean you need to be isolated from society.

We want our community to still stay engaged with others, even if you can’t interact in person. Claudia Miewald, DNP, director of Kootenai Health’s Behavioral Services had this advice, “When staying home for long periods of time it is important to establish routines with your family, children, or even in your own day. Pick a time to read, do schoolwork, or just watch a funny movie together as a family each day.” Miewald said, “This is a good time to do those home projects like organizing the garage or closet, doing things that will give you a sense of accomplishment.  Staying connected is also important.  Use technology like the Nextdoor app to check on your neighbors, video chat with family, or have the kids send letters or drawings to grandma and grandpa to stay connected. I also suggest taking time each day to practice gratitude and actively seek out the good things you have in your life to keep perspective.” 

Additionally, the CDC recommends the following things you can do to support yourself:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat a healthy, well balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol or drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

However, if you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide or self-harm there are resources available.  

  • Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at 208-398-4357, which is available 24 hours a day.
  • Veteran’s Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 then Press 1. Also you can text a message to 838255 or chat online at
  • Northern Idaho Crisis Center 208-947-5595 or the Text the word START to 741741
  • The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare COVID-19 hotline 1-888-330-3010. The number is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 am to 6 pm.

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