The pandemic is stressful for many of us, and stress can lead to several mental health issues if left unchecked. Mental health and coping during COVID can be difficult for some, not knowing where to start. During this time, people may experience mental health symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, and confusion. Thankfully, you can do things to take care of your mental health and cope during COVID-19.
If you’re worried about your mental health, one of the most important things to do is seek out support, specifically, online or over the phone. Somewhere you can freely discuss your emotions. A person suffering from depression may find that talking about their feelings helps reduce symptoms. They could speak to a friend or family member who understands their situation. They could also talk to a registered mental health care provider.
Dealing with Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. A person who suffers from depression may also feel fear, worry, helplessness, restlessness, and trouble concentrating. They may lose interest in doing anything fun or exciting, feel energy depletion, and lack focus. Some people may even start to withdraw from social activities.
If you start to feel any of these symptoms, try to become aware that they’re happening because of stress. It brings about anxiety and depression relatively quickly. Stress can negatively affect the vascular system (vaso-spasm) and suppress the immune system (immunodepression). Therefore, high-stress can lead to the worsening or beginning of physical health problems.
The best cause of action is to decrease stress, which, in turn, may address anxiety and depression.
Coping with Stress During COVID-19
Fear, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse problems, among others, can be overwhelming, so seek immediate help to cope. Mental health and coping during COVID can also include learning to deal with your feelings to manage mental health issues. For example, if someone is suffering from depression, it may help to find a hobby or activity that they enjoy.
Coping doesn’t have to involve medication. Some patients find they cope better using relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or visualizations, to calm and relax their minds. However, taking prescribed medication to deal with mental health problems may help.
Here are some additional tips for minimizing stress.
- Follow proper steps if you’re worried about COVID-19. Speak to a healthcare professional, try not to panic since that can worsen situations.
- Address your emotional health by doing things like taking breaks, connecting with others, practicing positive thinking, and in general, making time for yourself.
- Do the things that take care of your body, such as regular exercise, eight hours of sleep, and eating healthier.
- Get treatment for mental health issues before they become severe.
- For substance use disorder, always seek a qualified health care provider.