Taking Care of Your Mental Health During the Pandemic
Your health is important to you and your family, but do you realize your mental health is at risk? During the pandemic, mental health professionals are seeing more people coming in for treatment. What effect is the pandemic having on the public’s mental health, and how are professionals handling it? In light of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we hope to show the importance of taking care of your mental health, whether you’ve been suffering with it for some time, or your symptoms have started during to the pandemic.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is defined as “the general condition of one’s mental and emotional state.” Irritation, lack of sleep, appetite changes, and suicidal thoughts or ideations are all warning signs that your mental health needs some attention.
Pandemic-induced mental illness
With the pandemic came social distancing and mandated masks, reducing human-to-human interaction that is essential to our mental health. If you’re experiencing difficulties due to the forced separation, you are not alone. There has been a noted increase in anxiety and depression-related illnesses. There has also been an uptick in domestic abuse causing more traumatic mental health issues to surface. The most at risk are the disadvantaged groups and those forced to work from home.
Tips to improve your mental health
During this pandemic, there has been a lot of time indoors, usually within the same place, surrounded by the same people, doing the same tasks day-in and day-out. Make an effort to take time for yourself, change your scenery, and ensure you have enough exercise. Change the way you view negatives by focusing on the silver lining of the situation. Do not allow things to overwhelm you and instead, take a step back to evaluate and plan before making decisions. Improving your sleep quality also helps to improve your stress response and mood.
Some of the simplest actions can ease your anxiety and release the tension you did not know was even hiding in the dark recesses of your mind. Talk things through with a therapist or a loved one to share concerns and find solutions. Breathing exercises and meditation quiet the mind and allow you to think more clearly.
Treating Mental Illness
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are various solutions to help treat mental illness depending on the severity, diagnosis, and disease process. Online and in-person therapy is an excellent resource to help with anxiety and depression. Having someone there to help you work through things and provide a different perspective is an excellent way to start. As the pandemic continues, seeking help has become easier with virtual assistance.
Most conditions do not improve on their own, and a mental illness can worsen over time and cause severe problems if uncontrolled. If you have any signs or symptoms of mental illness, see your primary care provider to obtain a referral for a mental health professional. The pandemic can make underlying mental health issues surface, so visit Midwest Express Clinic for a mental health evaluation today!