Taking Care of Your Mental Health during a Pandemic http://www.malibutimes.com/
People have made significant lifestyle changes due to COVID-19. Adjusting to changes at work, home, and school has been challenging for people of all ages. Adapting to a reality that lacks physical contact from family, friends, and coworkers takes time. Still, it’s significant because it is essential to managing the spread of the virus to vulnerable people.
Drastic changes also affect your mental health. The pandemic has created unpredictable situations, and you don’t know what to expect. People experience stress and anxiety while trying to make the best decisions on how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. It is crucial to look after your mental health and how you can help others who may need extra support during this time.
Taking care of your mental health during a pandemic includes keeping yourself informed, staying in contact with people you care about, and knowing where to get help when you need it.
Stress and Anxiety Caused by COVID-19
When you experience stress and anxiety, it is crucial to understand what causes it and how it affects you. Your mental health is influenced by what is happening in your life. Many experience high levels of stress & anxiety due to unforeseen life changes such as a loss, financial worries, or how to provide for people who rely on them for support. Some fear getting sick and worry about what could happen because the disease is new. People feel anxious due to isolation and loneliness.
Stressful situations may contribute to mental and physical symptoms such as fear, uneasiness, and change how you eat and sleep. Some experience difficulty falling asleep at night or concentrating on tasks during the day. Others experience their preexisting health conditions get worse. People may increase their use of drugs or alcohol to cope, but this could also lead to more problems.
Understanding Your Options When In Crisis
If you experience overwhelming feelings of anxiety and fear due to increased stress, you have options. Immediate help is available when in crisis. You can call 911 as well as seek help through sources such as:
- Disaster Distress Helpline:1-800-985-5990
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:1-800-273-8255
- Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741
- National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
Learning How to Cope with Stress is Key
How you respond to stress is significant, and it depends on factors such as social support, finances, emotional health, and community resources. Others are affected by the actions you take, including how you keep yourself safe during the pandemic. People are in different situations and may respond to what is happening differently than others. For example, people who live alone may feel more isolated.
Children and teens may need more social support to help them adapt to change. Parents can help their children by encouraging them to follow a daily routine, talk to them about the coronavirus, help them express their feelings positively, and minimize screen time by engaging in fun, creative activities with them.
Older adults should have ways to keep in touch with family and friends, such as by phone, email, and social media. Maintain a daily schedule to stay productive and healthy. Practice simple exercises to support mobility and seek help from family and friends when you need it.
If you have a mental health condition, take your medication as prescribed. Get advice from your doctor or mental health specialist about how to sustain your support during the pandemic. Know who you can turn to when you need to talk or when symptoms relapse. Stay in touch with those who care about you. Connect with peers through local and online support groups.
Consider online counseling or therapy. Talking about your feelings helps relieve stress while analyzing your options. There are many benefits of using online therapy counseling platforms, and you can learn about an opportunity through the following: https://www.regain.us/advice/general/betterhelp-is-it-the-best-online-therapy-and-counseling-platform-in-2020-and-why/.
It is imperative to learn how to manage your stress because it may lead to unhealthy behaviors. Your wellbeing depends on your mental health, and it influences your thoughts, actions, and behaviors. People with substance use disorders and preexisting mental health concerns are vulnerable when an emergency occurs. If you think you have a mental health concern such as depression or anxiety, or you notice new symptoms with a preexisting condition, contact your healthcare provider.
Useful Tips for Managing Your Mental Health
Understanding how to manage your mental health helps keep you and those you care about safe. When you know how to manage your mental health, it makes a difference in decision-making and problem-solving. Here are tips you may find useful when considering how to manage your mental health.
- Stay informed on the latest developments but keep it to a minimum. Know which sources provide credible information to help stop the spread of rumors.
- Maintain a routine that helps you take care of yourself and your responsibilities, including eating well, ample rest, personal hygiene, and doing activities you enjoy.
- Maintain social contact when your movement is restricted. Phone calls and social media help you reach out to others when it is convenient for you.
- Limit drug and alcohol use. Some use them when feeling bored, isolated, or fearful. Sometimes the influence of such substances may lead to not taking proper precautions to protect yourself from infection.
- Give your time to others. There are people in your community that need help with the basics like food or assistance with tasks like shopping.
- Be kind to others. Being kind not only helps you feel good, but it helps maintain a positive mood, among others. Avoid discriminating against others because of personal fears about the coronavirus.
- Show gratitude to people responding to COVID-19.
Work toward having a balance between caring for others and yourself. While practicing social distancing, you can still maintain social connections to help manage and strengthen your mental health.