Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the nation and the world has seen significant changes to daily living. While social distancing, quarantine and isolation help prevent the spread of infectious disease, these same practices may impact your mental health in a negative way.
Everybody reacts differently to stressful situations. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may experience anxiety, worry or fear for your own health, job security or obtaining things you need like groceries. You may also experience frustration with the uncertainty about the future. Symptoms of depression may arise, such as feeling hopeless, lack of appetite and trouble sleeping. If you haven’t been able to see your loved ones, go to work or have the daily interactions you once had, a feeling of loneliness may set in.
Taking care of yourself and others
First, talk about your feelings with people you trust. Being open about your anxiety is the first step to relieving it. You’ll probably find that they’re having similar feelings and supporting one another is good for everyone’s emotional health. Next, find a routine that makes you feel good. Plan meals, eat at the regular times, maintain your sleep schedule, get fresh air and exercise, and practice good hygiene and self-care. During times of chaos or uncertainty, maintaining routines goes a long way toward helping you feel more in control of your life.
While it’s important to stay informed, set boundaries around how much news and social media you consume each day. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, take a break. No matter what you’re feeling, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Whether it’s a close friend, a family member or a caring professional, lean on others who can support you.
Help is always available, and healing is always possible.
If you feel you need emotional support for yourself or for your family, call the New Directions Emotional Support hotline at 833-848-1764. This is a free and confidential 24/7 mental health helpline staffed by trained and caring professionals ready to guide you to the care you need.
Reduce stigma & save lives
Talking about your mental health struggles with others will not only help you get the care you need, but it can also begin to break down the stigma around mental health. Every year we see devasting rates of suicide in the U.S. that continue to climb. But with open and honest conversations about our struggles, we can make a real difference and save lives. To learn more about the warning signs and how to get help if you’re experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts, visit ndbh.com/suicide or talk to your doctor. #StopSuicide