April 2020

Welcome to our #MEAction Colorado newsletter.  We hope you find some valuable information in these newsletters.  If you want to contribute to our next newsletter or have comments and suggestions, please let us know. 


Lara Heisler, Editor   heisler.lara@gmail.com
Jim Lutey, Editor       jimlutey@gmail.com 

COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Resources for People with ME 
HERE is a link to #MEAction's page for information about the coronavirus outbreak and its effect on people with ME.
Colorado COVID-19 Updates   
HERE is a link to the State of Colorado's website with up to date information on the coronavirus in Colorado.

Dealing with Stress and Anxiety in These Times
by Lara Heisler

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people.  Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.  Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:
  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19  
  • Children and teens  
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders  
  • People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:
  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones  
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns  
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating  
  • Worsening of chronic health problems  
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs  
People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms.  Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website.  Filling prescriptions ahead of time and asking your therapist to hold telemedicine sessions can ensure you keep your health a priority.  HERE is a link to the site.  
Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress.  Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.
Things you can do to support yourself:
  • T ry to stick to your normal routine as much as possible.  Keep the same bedtime and the same awake time.  Get dressed in clothes you'd work in.  Take a walk outside to get exercise and see other people to feel a sense that everyone is in this together.  
  • Choose activities that soothe you or give you purpose such as playing board games, reading, putting together puzzles, or bathing.  
  • Make it part of your routine to reach out to friends and family.  
  • Call, text, FaceTime or Skype daily with others.  During traumatic times, having a sense of connection and a feeling of community is essential for hope and healing.  
  • Fun, meaningful experiences reduce the stress hormone cortisol and raise feel-good hormones like serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.  Experts suggest adding humor to your day by reading cartoonists or watching funny movies and comedy shows.  
  • Laughing about the situation doesn't hurt anyone and shows that we're all in this together. ( www.healthline.com )  
  • 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 healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and 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.  HERE is a link to the website. 
Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
Reduce stress in yourself and others:
Sharing the facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk  to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful.
When you share accurate information about COVID-19 you can help make people fee less stressed and allow you to connect with  them.
Stress and Coping:
Need Help?  Know Someone Who Does?  
Contact the Disaster Distress Helpline.
Call 1-800-985-5990
Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call 
  • 911
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA's) Disaster Distress Helpline:  1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.  (TTY 1-800-846-8517)
Learn more about taking care of your emotional health 
See full article s:  For parents and for responders click HERE.  
Olivia and Emma
will share 
how  I stay distracted:
a new experience-- homeschooling our  Emma who is 10 years old and has Down Syndrome and making up her visual picture schedule (which she rearranges when I am not looking) using zoom for her O.T., speech and music therapies (technology can really frustrate me,  but with some help I learn) , yelling up to my teenager Olivia  (at the computer doing online schooling... right!)  that the poodle needs  to go outside , walks in the neighborhood, watching funny comedians  with my husband , laundry, cooking meals up at the last minute  to name a few.
Hang in there everyone.  

Colorado advocates for people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, their caregivers and allies. Join our FB group MEACTIONCO.  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @MeactionCO
 #MEAction Colorado
Newsletter volunteers are NOT medical professionals; we are patients, allies and caregivers sharing our own experiences. What you do with the information offered is at your own risk and is your responsibility. Always try to work with a good doctor and/or medical professional and please consult him/her for your personal medical decisions. Please note that none of the information on this site has been evaluated by the FDA. It is shared for support and educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness. Please do not make major changes in diet or exercise without discussing them with your physician and/or medical professional. Never begin taking any supplement without discussing it with your physician and/or medical professional, and never stop taking any prescription medications unless directed to do so by your physician and/or medical professional. The opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the submitter and not of the newsletter volunteers or MEAction.