Danielle Ibelema, MD
Pandemic Mental Health Tips
It's important that we take extra steps to maintain a healthy mental state while balancing new challenges. It’s natural to experience a mix of emotions while navigating through the lockdowns, safety procedures, and related changes. Yet, our anxiety, although unsettling, may be able to be managed in a healthy way.
Stay Socially Connected
The term ‘social distance’ can sound intimidating, especially for people who enjoy being around others on a regular basis. Although we need to stay physically distanced, the need to be socially connected is important now more than ever. To stay connected with those who provide support and comfort in your life while reassuring everyone’s safety, host events online that would typically happen in person. This creates a feeling of connectedness while building your community.
Be Aware of Your Self Care Needs
● Healthy Bodies Lead to Healthy Minds- Maintain a healthy sleep schedule and eat well-balanced meals.
● Communicate Your Needs - Communicate about your current emotional and mental state with your support system. Be sure to reach out for help if you find your mental health declining.
● Find Balance - A feeling of uncertainty due to a lack of information may cause you to feel stressed or anxious. Stay updated on the most recent information to remain informed about current changes while limiting the amount of information you review. To keep from feeling overwhelmed, take breaks throughout your day, or limit the amount of news you review.
Be Kind to Yourself
Remember that you are not alone and there are people across the world that are experiencing similar emotions. Create new at-home routines to accommodate your circumstances and maintain comfort throughout your day. A lack of predictability can lead to added stress, so creating a routine that is easy to stick to is crucial for your nerves. By finding a designated workspace and creating clear boundaries, you can have continued success at home without falling behind on your daily responsibilities.
If you are concerned someone you know is experiencing a mental health problem, start the conversation. Remind them they are not alone and you are open to listen to their experiences. Talk about contacting a doctor or other mental health professional to find healthy ways to cope with their emotions as they navigate through their feelings. Most importantly, remember to be compassionate with yourself and others around you.