The recent pandemic has pushed a lot of people to stay at home and only go out for essential tasks like supply runs or hospital visits. Some are forced to work from home, while others lost their jobs entirely. These factors have uncovered a different enemy that’s just as challenging as the virus: declining mental health.
A study on student well-being published in the International Journal of Social Psychiatry found that 25% of respondents reported having anxiety symptoms. Another survey published by YoungMinds stated that over 83% of young people with preexisting mental conditions reported having worsened symptoms.
The lockdown has probably caused you to sacrifice your usual routines and social activities to keep safe. Plus, the overall stress of going through a pandemic for months is just so difficult to bear. Here are ways to take care of your mental health while staying in place.
Get News from Reliable Sources
About two-thirds of Americans get their news from social media. They’re shared by official news outlets themselves and even friends and family. The latter, however, should be viewed with vigilance. This is because some people might intentionally or unintentionally share fake news about the status of the pandemic.
Some articles may fear-monger, while others share illegitimate information about vaccines and cures. Both are very stressful to read. You should only consume news from trusted sources like major news outlets and your community newspapers. Professional journalists always do their research and don’t sensationalize what they write. And if negative news about the current situation just stresses you out in general, take a break from your timeline and news feed for a while.
Do Your Best to Connect With Loved Ones
If you live alone, you may miss having visitors around or going out with loved ones. Loneliness, if left unchecked, can lead to a variety of physical and mental consequences like poor sleep quality, heart disease, depression, and more. Continue to reach out to your loved ones through your usual channels like social media, texts, and calls.
Don’t be afraid to get creative. Create Zoom conferences with your buddies and talk all about what’s going on in your lives during the pandemic. There are many web, computer, and mobile party games that allow online multiplayer. These include Jackbox games, Houseparty, Uno GO, Draw Something, and more. They’re great stress-relievers after a long day of living at work.
Seek Professional Help
If you’re feeling symptoms of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and other forms of mental distress, don’t be afraid to call a professional. There are CBT clinics that can help diagnose and treat your condition. Some facilities also offer online sessions and prescriptions, so you can’t get the help you need without having to go out.
The effects of COVID-19 doesn’t just affect your physical health; it can also impact your mental well-being. Take care of your mental health by continuing to connect with loved ones, avoiding sensationalized coverage of the pandemic, and seeking professional help. With a healthy mind and body, you’ll get through this pandemic stronger than ever before.