Protecting Your Mental Health As Well As Your Physical Health in a Pandemic
As social and physical distancing stretch on, so can the effects of separation and the lack of a normal daily routine. These are times of uncertainty – the virus has impacted businesses and personal finances, and our way of interacting with others has changed dramatically. There are no handshakes. There are no hugs. There are no brunches, date nights, play dates or celebratory gatherings.
You might find yourself feeling more anxious, lonely, detached and isolated.
While we have taken measures to protect our physical health, these same measures have taken a toll on our mental health. Perhaps we’ve become more irritable with those in our household, sad or lethargic. What were once simple errands, such as grocery shopping, have now become an ordeal that requires a facial covering, proper hand hygiene and, above all, patience— if you have to wait for access to a store for basic provisions that may or may not be available.
There are ways to connect despite the distance. Video chats have replaced in-person meetings. Perhaps you can hold a virtual book club or dinner party. Workout and relaxation apps have, for the moment, replaced the gym and yoga studio.
There are several resources to help you and your family mange your stress and anxiety during this pandemic:
- Mass.gov has resources for reducing stress and healthy coping.
- The Emotional PPE Project is for healthcare workers who need support.
- Riverside Trauma Center can help you manage reactions to the coronavirus .
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tips on Daily Life and Coping
- Open Sky Community Services offers a free video series, Coping with COVID, featuring clinical leaders and mental health professionals.
- The National Alliance of Mental Illness Massachusetts (NAMI) has a variety of mental health resources
- American Psychological Association has resources for children, families and the elderly.
Information for this blog was compiled from mass.gov and cdc.gov
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