Community members finding ways to cope during COVID-19

Emma Hughes

Gila River Indian News


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many states across the U.S. have issued stay home orders, including Arizona, which Gov. Doug Ducey announced on Monday, March 31. GRIC Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis also announced that the Community will consider a similar order for the Community. It is strongly encouraged to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus.


The pandemic has brought on many changes and staying home can be difficult for some. Every day we hear new and constantly changing information which can be hard and overwhelming to keep up with.


Fear and anxiety about the disease can cause stress in adults and children. Some of that stress can include fear and worry of your own health and your loved ones, changes in sleeping or eating, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, worsening chronic health problems, and/or an increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. All of which can impact both your mental and physical health.


There are many things you can do to help cope and adapt to these sudden lifestyle changes in a healthy way. Taking breaks from the news and social media, limiting your exposure to negative information may help to ease some of your anxiety.


Make time to unwind, relax, do activities you enjoy or try new things.  Some ideas can include learning a new skill or craft, writing or journaling, dusting off your old musical instrument and reconnecting with your creative side will help with stress.


Take the time to get household chores done that you may have been putting off, do some organizing, rearranging your environment will create a sense of control and change. With limited food resources, you might want to work on your cooking skills, find old recipes and try some traditional ways of preparing food from basic ingredients. Taking a break from junk food will also help to improve your mental state.


Although we are required to practice social distancing, there are still many ways you can stay connected with one another through a simple phone call, text, email or social media. Not just through friends and family but throughout the Community as well. 


Gila River Wellness Center has taken the approach of utilizing social media to provide videos of home workouts, fitness challenges, and even trivia to stay connected and interact with the Community. The internet is filled with many resources that will help you learn and stay active and informed.