Taking care of mental health amid COVID-19 pandemic
If you are feeling more anxiety than normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone. There is some advice to help cultivate calm in our lives.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — COVID-19 is threatening to take a toll, not just on physical health but mental health as well.
Lynell Rice Brinkworth with Spirals Counseling, says, “Anxiety and fear are really common right now and that is just our body’s way of telling us to kind of be alert and pay attention. And we do want to monitor that of course but it is also really common for what we are dealing with, with this pandemic.”
Panic mode can impact our immune system. Abrupt changes in routine leads us to believe that things are outside of our control and we typically don’t like that emotion.
Lynell says to seek outlets for self-care, saying, “When I think about self-care right now, I think having a daily structured routine is really important so hopefully that will still include paying good attention to what you eat and to nutrition, exercise, getting out of the house – get some movement in the best way that you can and also get some fresh air. ”
Transitioning to the social distancing component may mean more chats online rather than in person. Try out different apps or web technologies to stay connected.
“So reach out to a friend, you haven’t talked to in a while- whether that’s using the telephone or through some sort of social media. I think seeing faces right now it is really important to help us create a sense of calm, where we can feel pretty isolated and disconnected,” says Lynell.
Another focus is proper rest, mediation and breathing techniques to relieve stress and decompress and enjoying hobbies you may not normally have the time to do.
Lynell says to also limit social media and information overload and if you are sinking into a depression or obsessing over bad thoughts, it’s an indication it’s time to seek help. Reach out to support systems or your medical healthcare provider for further help.
You can also call 211 for help with resources. You can also have a resource ready to direct others to, such as MentalHealth.gov or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK (8255), if you are hopeless.