Worry, Stress, Anxiety: Different or Same?

COVID-19 Impacts of Mental Health

During times of uncertainty, such as the events of COVID-19, many will worry and stress over the uncertainties. Worrying, stressing, and being anxious can sometimes hinder your ability to function. While the three words may seem the same, they are very much different.

During this tidal wave of COVID-19 precautions, there are many things that people have concerns over. Some people might say, “What could people have to stress or worry about? All they have to do is stay at home. Well, for many, this situation is most detrimental as they may have the additional worry of daily life struggles like; finding a place to sleep for the night or when their next meal is going to be. For others, stress may arise by merely attempting to solve a math problem, something that a lot of parents may be doing more of as they are now homeschool teachers.

Everyone is different and will react to the COVID-19 situation differently. Some may worry, stress, or feel anxious about their new normal, and that’s ok.

Here are the differences between the three and the ways to cope:

What are the differences between worry, stress, and anxiousness?

Feeling worried is how the body calms down to handle the problem(s) at hand, such as thinking about and dwelling on the uncertainties/possible adverse outcomes.

Stress is a physical symptom that can put your body into fight or flight mode.

Anxiousness is a constant feeling of stress and worry.

If you are worried:

  • Write your worries down
  • Make a next step/action plan
  • Limit the amount of time to worry

If you are stressed:

  • Exercise
  • Refocus on what you can control
  • Complete what you can

If you are anxious:

  • Eat healthy with limits to sugar, caffeine, or alcohol
  • Think happy thoughts or do things that will force you to think about something other than the issue.
  • Play – Play with pets, kids, do something that will distract yourself.

Source: World Health Organization

Understanding Mental Health During COVID-19

There is no doubt that COVID-19 will change our world permanently, and now more than ever is the perfect time to take control of your mental health.

Our mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices for ourselves and love ones, and gaining control of our mental health is essential at every stage of life, from childhood, adolescence, all the way through adulthood.

Throughout this pandemic, you may experience mental health difficulties, which can affect you’re thinking, mood, and behavior. Mental health problems are common, and help is always available. Those experiencing mental health problems can get better, and many recover completely.

It is essential to know what the early warning signs are in case you or someone you love need to seek help. Not sure if you or someone you know are experiencing mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign of a problem, and help is only a phone call away:


Early Warning Signs

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Smoking, drinking or using drugs more than usual
  • Feeling confused, forgetful, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Inability to perform daily tasks


Here are some great tools to help reduce mental, emotional, and physical stress during this time:

  • Deep Breathing
  • Journaling
  • Stretching/Yoga
  • Hobby
  • Meditation
  • Set limits – news, social media, reading, screen time


Remember, the best way to deal with our new normal, is better self-care!

COVID-19 and Your Mental Health

As of March 11th the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus a pandemic issue. The word pandemic itself can result in mass hysteria. There are several feelings that can arise amidst the world’s current situation. Take note of your feelings such as fear, worry, anxiety, frustration, uncertainty, loneliness, depression, anger, and boredom. These feelings can occur with just a though, such as the health and well-being of yourself and loved ones. Simply not knowing, can trigger any of these feelings. In these moments, it is important to take notice and act. Here are some ideas to help ground yourself:

Educate yourself to the procedures and measures that our leaders have put in place to assist in the prevention of the spread of disease.

Social Distancing – Social distancing is a way to keep people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread an infectious disease. Schools and other gathering places such as movie theaters may close, and sports events and religious services may be cancelled.

Quarantine – Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. It lasts long enough to ensure the person has not contracted an infectious disease.

Isolation – Isolation prevents the spread of an infectious disease by separating people who are sick from those who are not. It lasts as long as the disease is contagious.

Stay up to date on what is occurring from reliable resources such as the CDC (Center for Disease Control), WHO (World Health Organization), and the local Public Health Department.

Understand the risks of actions or ideas.  Knowing how decisions can impact your health or others is one step to keeping you informed and making informed decisions.

As humans we thrive on socializing and with the new implementation of quarantine worldwide it has made the essence of life difficult. Utilize technology to stay in touch with loved ones via phone call or facetime.  Let them know your thoughts and feelings on the current situation.

Set limits to screen time, reading, social media, news, talking to loved ones and hobbies.  Know yourself in regards to the content you entertain yourself with and how it makes you feel.  Try not to partake in activities that can be overwhelming.

All we have is time on our hands during this pandemic, so take time to just be still and quiet for a minute or two. To get the best out of this action, turn off or silent all music, TV, and phones. Take deep breaths inhaling and exhaling for 1 full minute.

If you are in need of a change of scenery, try to enjoy your neighborhood and nature daily with 15 minute walks.

If you are feeling over-stimulated another option is to try meditation and chanting, which can be very self-rewarding.


Having the sensation to keep occupied is quite common. Take this opportunity to take care of all the neglected to do lists for the house or yard.

It is important to stay healthy and one of those ways is to eat a healthy meal. Everyone loves a good meal, especially a tasty one. Refocus your worries on creating a well thought out meal.

Although every idea of this invisible disease feels so surreal, it is definitely uncontrollably real. It does have major impacts on us all. There is an end to the pandemic, which will also feel so surreal as well. Once that happens it is best to prepare and educate yourself about the disease, and sharing your educational experience with others can be helpful as well. This will help ease the coping transition for reconnection with loved ones.

If you or your loved ones experience signs or symptoms of depression such as:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Problems with eating too much or too little
  • Inability to carry out routine daily activities
  • Using drugs or alcohol to cope

It is essential to connect with a healthcare professional. South Sound Behavioral Hospital is always here to help.

Covid-19 Update for Patients, Visitors, and Guests

We remain open 24/7 and our full range of mental health and addiction services are available.

We understand the importance of seeing loved ones receiving care, and we know the value visitors bring to our patients. However, given the concern about COVID-19 and the recommendations by the CDC, we are limiting outside visitors to reduce the risk of infection in our hospital. We ask that visitors adhere to these restrictions so that we can maintain the safest possible environment for everyone.

Effectively Immediately: We are canceling all adult patient visitation and non-essential onsite meetings and tours. We encourage patients and their families to communicate through phone and video chat as much as possible.   Details for video chat will be provided. We will also increase the times patients have for phone use.  Please check with the facility for any visitation changes before arriving at the facility.

When it becomes necessary to visit the facility all individuals will be screened for temperature reading and questioning about illness or contact with any corona virus patient. This includes patient visitors, deliveries, scheduled and unscheduled visits by anyone.

As we implement these safeguards it is also important to remember that each of us has a role to play in keeping ourselves and others healthy. Wash your hands thoroughly. Avoid touching your hands to your face. Limit close contact with people who are sick. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Take care of yourself.

We thank you for your support in ensuring the safety of our patients and staff.

And, please remember this can take a toll on our mental health.  We will continue to provide a no charge assessment to help all ages through this difficult time. Call 24-7.


Additional Resources


South Sound Behavioral Now Offering Partial Hospitalization Program

In order to better help treat our patients and provide the highest quality of care, we are proud to announce we now offer a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP).

What is the Partial Hospitalization Program?

After a patient has gone through our inpatient and outpatient care – there will now be an extra level of support we are able to provide. For those who might not be confidently ready to end services, PHP provides additional support to gradually transition out of care with ease.

Still dedicated to not disrupting the flow of daily life, PHP allows for patients to independently live at a pace that allows them to feel more comfortable and in control of their treatment process.

Want more information on this service we are introducing? We’re happy to provide more details – contact us, today!

South Sound Behavioral Hospital Hosting Monthly Lunch & Learn

This coming December, we are excited to announce we will be hosting a monthly lunch & learn session. In an attempt to bring mental health to the forefront of the conversation, we will be creating a welcoming and open environment to constructively discuss valuable topics.

This great event is implemented to educate community partners on:

  • Our programs & general overviews
  • Our referral process and how it works
  • Becoming a trusted member for treatment of families and loved ones

Are you interested in learning more or have questions? We have resources that are fantastic for community members to refer to.

Our programs include:

What disorders do we treat?

  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Acute Bipolar Disorder
  • Schizophrenia Symptoms
  • And more!

If you’re interested in learning more about the referral process, or supporting a loved one, contact us for more valuable information!

4 Common Symptoms of Clinical Depression to Be Aware Of

Seasonal Affective Disorder vs. “Winter Blues”: Are They the Same?

It’s natural to feel a bit sluggish and sleepy during the winter. After all, the days are shorter, and cooler temperatures tend to keep us cooped up inside. But for many people, this “hibernation mode” may be a seasonal form of depression called seasonal affective disorder. So how do you know if what you’re experiencing is just a case of the “winter blues” or a mental health issue? Here are some signs to look out for.

The Winter Blues

Dreary winter days can leave us feeling tired and not very motivated. This is likely due to shorter daylight hours, which can interfere with our circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycles) as well as levels of serotonin and melatonin, which regulate moods and induce sleep, respectively. It’s not surprising, then, that the winter blues are characterized by feelings of sadness and lethargy, causing us to sleep more. Many of those who feel down during the winter find that they’re feeling less social than they do during spring and summer. The winter blues, however, don’t interfere with a person’s ability to function.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Suffering from seasonal affective disorder is more serious than the winter blues. The two most common indicators of SAD are overeating and oversleeping. People who have seasonal depression may experience negative emotions for most of the day, feeling hopeless and sometimes even suicidal. They tend to withdraw from family and friends and lose interest in activities they normally enjoy. If you constantly feel lethargic and have difficulty concentrating at school or work during the colder months of the year and seasonal disorder may be the culprit. Symptoms are persistent and can be severe enough to interfere with your work, relationships, and daily activities.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment

SAD treatment may include 30 – 60 minutes a day of light therapy, usually in the morning. You can purchase a lightbox that mimics natural light and can help reset your internal clock. Many people report that their symptoms improve with lifestyle changes such as spending more time outside, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet that includes sources of Vitamin D.

If lifestyle adjustments don’t help and your symptoms persist or intensify, it may be time to seek professional help. South Sound Behavioral Hospital offers comprehensive mental health treatment services that may include in-patient or partial hospitalization and outpatient therapy. Contact us to schedule an evaluation.

South Sound Behavioral Hospital Celebrates World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is Thursday, October 10th. With this in mind, we at South Sound Behavioral Hospital want to discuss the need for mental health treatment in our local communities, and throughout the United States. As a new mental health facility, we want to present ourselves as an expert in mental health treatment, and […]