Mental health awareness month, recognized last month, fell at an opportune time this year. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to social isolation, grief and many stressors that may negatively impact your mental health.
Many people feel isolated and disconnected from family and friends. This has been felt acutely in hospitals and nursing homes.
Others have been faced with significant financial hardships due to loss of employment or significant under-employment.
This pandemic has resulted in a very real increase in depression and anxiety across all of society.
Care for your mental health just like you care for your heart health or your musculoskeletal health. Don’t neglect it. Do what works best for you. Eat a healthy diet and try to avoid excess alcohol. This means less than two drinks on average per day for men and less than one drink per day on average for women. Also make sure you get enough sleep. For most adults this means 7 to 9 hours per night.
Keep exercising and keep that heart pumping. Try to get outside part of every day in the sunshine as well. Don’t forget your quiet time and use prayer and meditation.
Most importantly, keep talking. In order to communicate, we have had to become creative during social isolation. Many people have found that the video conferencing has brought family members together in unique and special ways that they’ve never been before. If you’re ever feeling down, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.