COVID-19 and your mental health | Health – Payson Roundup

Posted: May 12, 2020 at 9:45 am

This post was added by Alex Diaz-Granados

Worries and anxiety about COVID-19 and its impact can be overwhelming. Social distancing makes it even more challenging. Learn ways to cope during this pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has likely brought many changes to how you live your life, and with it uncertainty, altered daily routines, financial pressures and social isolation. You may worry about getting sick, how long the pandemic will last and what the future will bring. Information overload, rumors and misinformation can make your life feel out of control and make it unclear what to do.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may experience stress, anxiety, fear, sadness and loneliness. And mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression, can worsen.

Learn self-care strategies and get the care you need to help you cope.

Self-care strategies are good for your mental and physical health and can help you take charge of your life. Take care of your body and your mind and connect with others to benefit your mental health.

Be mindful about your physical health:

Get enough sleep and keep your typical schedule.

Participate in regular physical activity. Regular physical activity and exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve mood. Find an activity that includes movement, such as dance or exercise apps. Get outside in an area that makes it easy to maintain distance from people.

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Limit caffeine as it can aggravate stress and anxiety.

Avoid tobacco, alcohol and drugs. If you smoke tobacco or vape, youre already at higher risk of lung disease. Because COVID-19 affects the lungs, your risk increases even more. Using alcohol to try to cope can make matters worse and reduce your coping skills. Avoid taking drugs to cope, unless your doctor prescribed medications for you.

Limit screen time. Turn off electronic devices for some time each day, including 30 minutes before bedtime.

Relax and recharge. Set aside time for yourself. Select a technique that works for you and practice it regularly.

Keep your regular routine, it is important to your mental health. This predictability can make you feel more in control.

Limit exposure to news media. Constant news about COVID-19 from all types of media can heighten fears about the disease. Social media may expose you to rumors and false information. Look for reliable sources such as the CDC and WHO.

Stay busy. A distraction can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression. Enjoy hobbies that you can do at home, identify a new project or clean out that closet you promised youd get to. Doing something positive to manage anxiety is a healthy coping strategy.

Focus on positive thoughts. Consider starting each day by listing things you are thankful for. Try to keep problems in perspective.

Use your moral compass or spiritual life for support.

Set priorities. Dont become overwhelmed by creating a life-changing list of things to achieve. Set reasonable goals each day. Recognize that some days will be better than others.

Build support and strengthen relationships:

Make connections. Find time each day to make virtual connections

Do something for others. Find purpose in helping the people around you. For example, email, text or call to check on your friends, family members and neighbors especially those who are elderly.

Support a family member or friend. If a family member or friend needs to be isolated for safety reasons or gets sick and needs to be quarantined at home or in the hospital, come up with ways to stay in contact.

typical and whats notStress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life. Everyone reacts differently to difficult situations, and its normal to feel stress and worry during a crisis. But multiple challenges daily, such as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, can push you beyond your ability to cope.

Many people may have mental health concerns, such as symptoms of anxiety and depression during this time. And feelings may change over time.

Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling helpless, sad, angry, irritable, hopeless, anxious or afraid. You may have trouble concentrating on typical tasks, changes in appetite, body aches and pains, or difficulty sleeping or you may struggle to face routine chores.

When these signs and symptoms last for several days in a row, make you miserable and cause problems in your daily life so that you find it hard to carry out normal responsibilities, its time to ask for help.

you need itHoping mental health problems such as anxiety or depression will go away on their own can lead to worsening symptoms. If you have concerns or if you experience worsening of mental health symptoms, ask for help when you need it, and be upfront about how youre doing. To get help you may want to:

Call or use social media to contact a close friend or loved one even though it may be hard to talk about your feelings.

Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone in your faith community.

Contact your employee assistance program, if your employer has one, and get counseling or ask for a referral to a mental health professional.

Call your primary care provider or mental health professional to ask about appointment options to talk about your anxiety or depression and get advice and guidance.

Contact organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for help and guidance.

If youre feeling suicidal or thinking of hurting yourself, seek help. Contact your primary care provider or a mental health professional. Or call a suicide hotline. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or use its webchat at suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.

self-care strategiesYou can expect your current strong feelings to fade when the pandemic is over, but stress wont disappear from your life when the health crisis of COVID-19 ends. Continue these self-care practices to take care of your mental health and increase your ability to cope with lifes ongoing challenges.

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COVID-19 and your mental health | Health - Payson Roundup

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