Caring For Your Mental Health During a Global Pandemic

How can one who suffers from a mental health disorder can care for it while there is a pandemic crippling many things in it's wake.

The COVID-19 outbreak has many people feeling overwhelmed and worried. Of course, physical health is important, but everyone also needs to manage their mental health. Feelings of anxiety, powerlessness, frustration, irritability, and impatience for it to be over are on everyone’s mind. In addition, many people are experiencing financial problems, and life has changed in the workplace, school environments, and even within families. 

Then there are likely concerns about the effectiveness of the vaccines, and many people are mourning the death of a loved one or friend from covid-19. The entire world of schedules, social plans, and priorities has been drastically transformed, and everyone is anxious about the future.

Caring For Your Mental Health During a Global Pandemic

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is either good or not good. When a person has a mental illness or disorder, they need medication and therapy to attain better mental health. Caring for your mental health means taking action to help yourself feel calm, supported, and loved. The most important thing to assure good mental health is to talk to a counselor or medical provider if you are experiencing depression, anxiety, or other symptoms that do not improve with time. Also, it is essential to get help at a treatment center if you are struggling with drugs and alcohol, as addiction has increased because of the stress and fear about the pandemic. 

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, relates to others, and make choices. (NIMH)

Minimize Watching News That Causes Fear

It might not be obvious to think that watching the news or reading articles about the pandemic could make someone feel more afraid. Everyone wants to be and should be well-informed. Still, watching the news all the time will become more upsetting than informative. Additionally, it is critical to find reputable sources for information. 

The Centers For Disease Control and other government agencies will provide medically safe advice and give you non-sensationalized facts about the pandemic. Yet, evaluating how much time is spent reading or watching the news about the pandemic is necessary to keep the mind out of constant fear and worry. Set a reasonable limit on what is needed and what is overdoing it.

Keep Socializing At A Distance

Practicing social distancing is seen as one of the most prominent measures individuals can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is critical to avoid places where people meet or gather and to keep a distance (approximately six feet) from those around you. However, this is very lonely and causes isolation and depression. Instead, keep socializing on the phone or through zoom meetings with friends and family. Email, text messages, and social media channels are all ways to keep socializing while remaining physically separated. 

The contact between very small groups if masks are worn, and everyone is vaccinated another way to stay connected to help reduce fear and ease the mind during these difficult times. It is no secret that in times of crisis, many people seek connection and comfort from others, and to abandon this is too stressful. Therefore, keeping in touch is very vital to everyone’s mental health.

What Do The Centers For Disease Control Say About Mental Health and Covid-19?

The CDC has provided solid recommendations and information on keeping your sanity and peace of mind during the pandemic. The highlights are on specific actions to take to ensure better mental health.

“It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are ways that you can help yourself, others, and your community manages stress:  

  • Consider limiting news to just a couple of times a day and disconnecting from phone, tv, and computer screens for a while. 
  • Exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. 
  • Avoid excessive alcohol, tobacco, and substance use
  • 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 

Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations — While social distancing measures are in place, try connecting online, through social media, or by phone or mail (CDC)

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