Coping and mental health during COVID-19 pandemic
The Coronavirus pandemic continues to change parts of our everyday life. Local Psychiatrist Dr. Manlove says we can all take away some life lessons from this experience.
Everyone’s day to day routines look a little different, the new norm of social distancing can be tough.
Even though we are physically distance, we can still maintain social connections. Building those connections into our lifestyle right now is important.
Dr. Stephen Manlove, a psychiatrist with Manlove Health, says, “Personally one of the things that I’m doing is working on developing good visual interfaces with lots of people. I need to be seeing them, not just talking to them on the phone, I mean talking to them is a good start — it’s better than nothing. But it’s much better to see them.”
Manlove says to focus on what you can do rather than the can’t do, like self care — maintain a healthy diet and exercise and sleep routine, since stress can often lead to poor choices like overindulging in junk food or alcohol.
Give yourself plenty of wind down time with meditation, prayer or yoga practices. Limit social media intake, especially before bed time, be informed but not overwhelmed.
Spend time outside each day and enjoy the sun. Trails in the Black Hills should allow you to stay at a safe distance away from other people.
Focus on the time you can spend with your family at home.
Manlove says, “It’s a real opportunity to get reacquainted and to get to know each other better again and to be more compassionate with each other.”
The adversity we experience can be taken as a lesson we can learn from, Manlove says, “How might we take this moment and make this better, make our community better, as a result of it rather than, this is a tragedy, we’ve got to put it away as soon as we can. Distancing might make us more able to tune into each other and care about each other and actually be a community.”
Incorporate self care practices into daily life and if you are still struggling, talk to a professional.