While the physical health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic is well-known to all (except maybe our parents), the mental health crisis that comes along with it is only beginning to come to light. Health, financial, and indeed societal uncertainty—as well as the social isolation that comes along with combatting this virus—are all ingredients for a tough row to hoe psychologically. Many coffee workers, from baristas to shop owners, are finding themselves in precarious financial and emotional conditions now with most coffee shops closed or operating on a skeletal structure. The loss of community and security is massive, and we want you to take care of your heads as well as your bodies.

While we at Sprudge are no substitute for professional counseling (almost all of which has moved online), here are a few basic suggestions on how to keep healthy routines in super-unusual circumstances. Whether you're working from home or not working at all right now, consider the following:

• Get showered and dressed every day. Relaxing in PJs is great for a few days, but remember that acting out the same behaviors you might when you're depressed can have the unwanted side effect of increasing depression. Go ahead and do your hair real nice, too.

• Keep up with or begin a meditation routine (more resources below).

• If you're feeling powerless, check up on friends or look into resources to help support those most in need in your community, including health care workers and isolated seniors. Remember to “put your own oxygen mask on first” though and don't deplete your mental health at the expense of helping others.

• Daily movement—whether it's as long a walk as you can while effectively social distancing, or even a brief burst of calisthenics—help shift mental perspective and draw you back into the moment. Plus, the benefits of movement work prophylactically on the spirit and keep up your health.

• Make your environment as comfortable as possible. This means opening up windows to more natural light, keeping clutter down, and adding music that makes you happier. You're going to be in this place for a while, so try and make it one that feels nurturing to you and full of positive energy.

We've also compiled some resources below that we hope might be helpful in navigating these mental waters. Please stay sane, stay safe, and if you're not needed for work—stay home!

Find a Therapist
Therapist search tool from PsychologyToday.com.

Resources for the Unemployed
This list from Talkspace offers basic mental health tips for when you're out of work. Feel free to reinterpret “do not isolate” to mean “hang out with people on FaceTime and Zoom.”

CDC Guidelines for Managing Mental Stress & Anxiety

Learn to Meditate Online
The Shambhala Institute offers some low-cost online versions of their popular meditation workshops and classes.

Resources for Restaurants and Workers Coping with the COVID-19 Emergency
An ever-growing list of financial, legal, and mental health resources from the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation.

Alcoholics Anonymous Online
Information about online meetings worldwide.

Coping Guidelines for Caretakers and Parents
Sound advice that applies to parents and caretakers of others, as well as those just trying to take care of themselves, from the Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery & Education.

NYC Queer Mutual Aid
For those local to NYC and queer-identifying folks looking for practical help or to provide help to others during this time.

Pema Chödrön Meditation for Difficult Times
A short article on meditation from the Pema Chödrön Foundation, with other useful resources linked from the main site.

Articles on Embracing the Unknown
Collection of brief articles at Psychology Today geared towards managing anxiety and hope during the COVID-19 crisis.

SCA Mental Health Webinar

The Specialty Coffee Association hosts a panel with licensed marriage counselor Courtney Muir, MA with panelists:

Bailey Arnold, Barista Guild

O.M. Miles, Coffee Roasters Guild

Hylan Joseph, Coffee Technicians Guild

Friday, March 27th 8AM PST.


Liz Clayton is the associate editor at Sprudge Media Network and the co-author of Where to Drink Coffee. Read more Liz Clayton on Sprudge.