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The coronavirus pandemic has uprooted life as we know it. We’ve been overwhelmed with new changes and challenges that none of us were prepared to weather. Although it’s been nearly a year now, we’re still grappling with the stress of financial uncertainty, concerns for our loved ones, worries over job security, and the isolation of social distancing. It’s completely natural to experience symptoms of anxiety or depression right now.
That said, there are steps you can take to cope with these mental health concerns and increase your resilience during the pandemic. Below, you’ll find several resources to help you improve your mental wellbeing and find someone to talk to if you need additional support.
Habits that Compromise Your Mental Health
Believe it or not, some of your daily habits could be making it harder for you to cope with additional stress during the pandemic.
- Getting too little sleep on a regular basis.
- Eating inflammatory foods like sugar, artificial trans fats, and processed meats.
- Spending too much time on social media.
- Getting your information about COVID-19 from alarmist, overly-sensational sources.
- Ruminating on past events, overthinking the negative aspects of the pandemic, or dwelling on your concerns about the future.
Daily Self-Care Actions for Mental Wellness
Try to replace some of the above bad habits with regular self-care actions that are scientifically proven to support your mental health.
- Take the time to prepare and eat foods packed with nutrients that are known to fight symptoms of depression.
- Get your body moving in one way or another to balance your stress hormones and improve blood flow to your brain.
- Practice mindfulness meditation to gain better control over your thoughts and emotions.
- Go to bed early so that you can get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
Where to Access Affordable Mental Health Services
Don’t wait for your mental health to worsen before talking to a therapist. Mental health services can be beneficial regardless of your mental health concerns. Here’s how to find affordable options:
- If you have Medicare coverage, find out what types of mental health services are included in your plan.
- Some therapists structure their fees on a sliding scale based on each client’s income.
- Online therapy may be a cost-effective solution for those without adequate insurance coverage.
- The trend towards digital health has made mental health services more accessible during the pandemic!
Are you struggling with your mental health during the pandemic? You’re far from alone. Finding ways to improve your mental health — even if you’re feeling unmotivated — can go a long way towards reducing any negative symptoms you’re dealing with. And if you need to talk to someone, don’t hesitate to reach out to a counselor or therapist!