How To Manage Mental Health During A Mental Health Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a mental health pandemic within a medical pandemic. The anxiousness, tensions, and the worries from the unknown new illness has been frightening. The emotional roller coaster we see on the streets with riots, with anger, violence, with toilet paper/paper towel fighting in stores, and the sudden rise in mental health concerns.
While masks, or PPE are requested, social media is also creating panic with continuous cleaning and clique environments. The daily news discussing precautions, the vicarious trauma exposed with first responders, and families across the world. Public health is a main priority, yet many feel they have no rights and this new environment or normal is creating anger within freedom to express and be safe.
Actions are put into place for reducing COVID-19, yes many individuals feel there are issues with what implications the social distancing, no touching, isolation will in fact create for future generations and our society as a whole today. Struggles with sleeping, diet, exercise, overall daily life functioning has been changed.
Businesses on a global scale, are now functioning at a whole new level. Families that are struggling maybe struggling more than ever due to financial or emotions stressors. Responding to a pandemic is different for everyone, what we see, feel, smell, impacts each one of us is so many different and similar ways.
For many individuals this is a very disturbing time. The unknown is many more times more scary that the known facts. We see precautions everywhere we go, from 6FT apart tapes on floors in stores to limited business hours. The circumstances that occur in our lives that are not in our control, many times can lead us to racing thoughts, anger, depression, medical concerns, compulsive behaviors, and even risky behaviors.
So what to do when anxious worries consume our thoughts, what to do when sadness or hurt become anger?
Here are some tips for self care:
- Allowing yourself to get plenty of eat by trying to eat a healthy three meals a day and a snack.
- Not allowing yourself to become isolated, utilize technology, chat online and play online games with friends.
- Understand the triggers that create stressors, and identifying what they are will help reduce some feelings as you are allowing emotions to surface.
- Seek professional counseling, or seek a support group that is online.
- Focus on the facts, not the myths. With online discussions, you can be triggered or upset over information that is not based in fact.
- Allow yourself self care, drink hot tea, mindfulness, yoga, taking a walk, nature, gardening, baking, or a new hobby can all be helpful.
Experiencing feelings and allowing those feelings to be channeled into healthy ways will be helpful in the long term.