Mental health according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”. Since COVID, mental health has become less of a stigma. It honestly appears to have become a part of everyday conversation. People are asking or saying: “what are you doing for self care”, “how are you able to take care of yourself this week”, “did you take time for yourself today”, or “do something that brings you joy”.
Mental health…is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.”Noam Shpancer, PhD
COVID has really taken a toll on many people all over the world mentally and has even resulted in some people’s death. Not only are those who test positive with COVID have other lasting effects physically from the virus, they are also affected mentally. Whether it be anxiety, guilt, depression, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), or mood disorders, COVID can have a lasting effect mentally if we do not prepare ourselves and actively take care of ourselves now.
How can we avoid anymore people dying because they are mentally ill? COVID is still slowly killing from the virus and killing people mentally and emotionally because of feelings of loneliness, separation, grief and suicidal thoughts/ideations.
Here are FIVE things you could and should be doing to cope with COVID, whether you have been affected physically by the virus or not:
- Connect with family and friends. Now that some restrictions are lifted, plan a safe outing with family or friends. And continue to use FaceTime, Zoom, Whatapp, or your favorite video calling app to stay connected with friends and family.
- Take a walk. Get out of the house! Physical activity is necessary especially for those of us that are still working from home.
- Laugh! You know the saying: laughter is medicine. Find a comedy show, a stand up show, or your favorite social media comic.
- Turn off the news! We all know we are living in trying times right now and we do not have to continue to pump the negativity into our heads. Take a break from reading and watching the news. Fill your head with positivity and good news!
- Allow yourself to feel. Many times we find ourselves going through the motions and forgetting to stop. Spend some time reflecting with yourself and making sure that you are being intentional with how you feel and getting the best out of your life experience. If you need help with this, reach out to a therapist or coach to help you.
Remember! COVID is not going to last forever. Take care of yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually starting now. Tap into those things that brought you joy before COVID and DO THEM.