COVID-19 Mental Health: How to Overcome the Sudden Change
The COVID-19 pandemic has become one of the trickiest problems to manage and overcome in the modern world. Since a sufficient vaccine will take more time before being available for worldwide usage, most countries have advised citizens to stay home and only go out when it's essential, to wear a cloth mask covering the mouth and nose, to use hand sanitizer or wash hands frequently, and to maintain a 2-meter distance from everyone else. The application of these methods to everyday life helps reduce the spread of the virus and the death toll. These precautions are all for protecting physical health during the pandemic, especially for those who are at higher risk. But although mental health is less talked about, it is also affected during these times of crisis.
COVID-19 has impacted and changed many things that occur in daily life, such as schooling, going out with friends or family, festivals, concerts, and so on. It affects the ability to hang out with people outside of the house, visit non-essential areas such as amusement parks, or vacationing in general. With so many things changing at once, it’s natural to feel depressed, upset, angry, or anxious about the situation. The change that usually affects most people is the sudden switch to staying at home for most of or the whole day to prevent the spread of the virus, which most definitely sparks the emotions already listed.
While it may seem like the easiest and best option, the answer is NOT to go back outside like everything is normal. Many citizens’ lives and overall well-being are affected, and going out, engaging in activities, and not obeying the social distancing and health measures put in place will make things worse for you and others. Although staying home all day may not be ideal, it’s considerate to protect others around you and yourself. However, even if the “easiest” path to take for better mental health is out of the question, there are still many other ways and resources that will help just the same.
One of the best ways to overcome mental health struggles, especially during a change-filled pandemic, is to talk to someone. Although it seems contradictory since you cannot physically visit someone to talk, there are alternatives that fit within health precautions. If you’re living in a house with a trusted friend, family member, or even pet (trust me, it works), going to them to talk about how you’re feeling and reacting to the changes can provide you support. If the person(s) living with you is not an option, calling or texting someone you know and trust is an alternative. Therapy has also been adapted in many areas to fit pandemic guidelines by providing what many call “tele-health,” or therapy through voice or video call. Some clinics may still be open for business, but if you decide to go to physical appointments be sure to follow the safety precautions.
Talking to someone isn’t the only way to combat the issue of poor mental health due to the pandemic. Individual activities help as well, such as writing or drawing out how you feel, developing a new hobby such as baking or video gaming, learning something new, or anything that brings you joy. What these individual activities provide is a release of any natural emotions that have been pent up from being limited to staying at home unless essential. Furthermore, when things get rough during these times, they give you a healthy distraction away from these feelings to bring you contentment and peace.
The COVID-19 pandemic has never been the most ideal, fun, or healthy for anyone, but there are many methods to help ease the frustration brought during these times. While this only scratches the surface on what to do for mental health while abiding by the health precautions, it should provide a simple foundation of what to do and what resources to utilize. Although it seems rough and endless right now, the future only holds good development towards a vaccine and health improvements across the entire world. Just remember that mental health is just as important to take care of as physical health, and to always wear a mask and social distance until we reach the light at the end of the tunnel!
We here at Bloom understand the struggles and emotions of being a military child, but we are not a mental health resource and are therefore unequipped to administer advice and assistance in that area. If you or someone you love needs help during this tough time, check out our Resources page for links to mental health resources. If you or someone you love might have COVID-19, click here for the CDC's instructions.