Tips & Resources
A year ago, very few would have guessed that a global pandemic would so fundamentally reform daily life for people around the world in 2020. Although the virus most directly impacts physical health, the link between mental health and COVID-19 is undeniable as well.
If you’re having a hard time coping with anything from stress and anxiety to feelings of isolation and loneliness, know that your experience is entirely justified—although staying at home may be the best option for controlling the spread of COVID-19, it can take its toll on your mental health over time. While what you are feeling is normal, there are still ways you can manage the precarious relationship between your mental health and isolation; we’ll help you strike a balance by discussing some healthy mechanisms to utilize during this trying time.
Coping with Stress from Home
Even if you’re not a particularly social person, you might find that managing stress at home is difficult when there’s no outlet. Whether you’re concerned about your own health, the health of your loved ones, your financial wellbeing, or something else entirely, developing proper coping strategies will alleviate some of the tension you’re experiencing.
Some of the best ways to manage stress at home include:
- Becoming educated — If you’re stressed about how to handle the situation should you or a loved one become sick, arm yourself with knowledge by researching the proper steps to take if that happens.
- Taking a break from the news — Staying abreast of the latest information may be doing more harm than good; take some time away from the television or computer and you might feel less stressed.
- Connecting with others — You may not be able to physically spend time with friends and family, but it’s important to stay in communication; simply chatting with those you care about will help reduce your stress.
- Prioritizing your health — Spend a few minutes each day stretching or exercising and try to maintain a healthy diet; these measures alone will do wonders for your stress levels.
Checking in on Your Mental Health
Those who grappled with mental health conditions or substance abuse issues prior to COVID-19 are particularly vulnerable now. It’s important that those who had already established a routine with medication continue to stick to it despite this disruption in their ordinary schedule.
Unfortunately, isolation can exacerbate feelings of depression and anxiety, so the risk of suicide during a crisis such as a pandemic is increased. Those feeling hopeless can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for judgment-free assistance. Please also review the resources on recognizing signs of distress.
It’s important to take a barometer of how you’re feeling during times like these; if your mental health seems to be slipping, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a care provider.
Recovering from Isolation
Oddly enough, you may find that you don’t feel entirely comfortable in social situations once you’re able to enter freely into society again. The reality is that after months of forced isolation due to COVID-19, many people will grapple with high levels of social anxiety.
Don’t force yourself into doing too much too soon if you’re not quite ready, particularly if you’re tempted to indulge in bad habits as a means of soothing that anxiety and taking the edge off.
The most important thing to remember during this highly unusual time is that your feelings of emotional and mental stress are entirely valid. Finding the right resources and developing healthy strategies to get through this pandemic will allow you to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with your mental health intact. Contact Achieve Whole Recovery Services if we can help you manage this experience.