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The idea of a pandemic causing the world to shut down and confining everyone to health restrictions is unfathomable. Even as we live through it, it still feels somewhat unreal. Unfortunately, COVID-19 and its dire effects on livelihoods, economies, and mental health are undeniably real.

Navigating Mental Health Challenges During the Covid-19 Pandemic 

The pandemic has been a trigger for many people dealing with mental health challenges from a mental health perspective. More people in society are now struggling with heightened anxiety, despair, and complicated feelings of grief. As such, healthy coping mechanisms are essential in this season.

Here are some tips to help navigate mental health rigors during this pandemic.

How to Navigate Mental Health in The COVID Pandemic

Maintaining Social Contact

Isolation is brutal to your emotional and mental health, especially with COVID-19 in mind. It tends to magnify every problematic emotion you are going through as you continually regurgitate your thoughts.

It is healthy to maintain some degree of personal space and recharge from social interaction. However, it is equally essential that you have some social contact. Interacting with others offers you a different perspective and could go a long way in improving your wellness.

Staying in touch with close friends and family also creates a sense of community even though you may be physically separated. Each of you would have a support system to tap into on the days when you feel overwhelmed. This is even more imperative if you are dealing with bouts of anxiety. The presence of loved ones, albeit online, offers much-needed emotional reassurance. 

Work-life Balance

As work from home becomes the new way of life, the great wall between work and home has been demolished. Most employees work longer hours than they ordinarily would during regular office schedules while also managing things at home. A running joke among colleagues goes: Are you working from home, or do you live at the office?

If this is the case for you, you should establish boundaries between your work and home life. Working at all day hours means you have no time to disengage and fully rest. It is the fastest way to achieve mental burnout. Soon enough, you may have a hard time focusing or feeling motivated. Add to that other life challenges, setting yourself up for a breakdown.

Make an effort to plan your workday and set timelines for different activities, including rest and recreation. You will find that you are more productive when you take the time to replenish your mind and body.

Online Therapy

Since the early stages of the pandemic, most therapists have been offering online therapy sessions. Online sessions might feel like a huge adjustment if you were in therapy before, but you must stay invested. Space, where you can express and address your state of mind, is invaluable at this time.

On the other hand, it could be that you never considered therapy or procrastinated due to scheduling restrictions. This time during the COVID pandemic might be an excellent time to start. Online sessions are less intrusive, and you can easily make time for them. Some therapists are also offering subsidized sessions to promote mental health wellness during these trying times. 

Self-care

Perhaps the one measly advantage we could ever attribute to Covid-19 is that it forced us all to hit the pause button. Modern living is fast-paced and has everyone trying to chase a goal or a paycheck. There is hardly ever any time to slow down and rest. So much so that self-care is marketed as some luxurious indulgence.

Self-care can take on many forms; there is no one general prescription. You need to sleep more, eat better, or get back into a hobby you enjoy. Mental self-care can also avoid media content that you find too upsetting or interactions that deplete you. In essence, take on what you feel would improve your wellness. 

Pay attention to your physical health as well. Busy moms have more than one reason to use IV vitamin therapy. Infusion therapy helps keep you hydrated and delivers vitamins and nutrients to help you feel refreshed, boost energy, and help recover faster. If you have an underlying condition like hypertension, it can get exacerbated by your emotional state. Invest in a BP monitor machine and be diligent about taking readings every day to keep track of your BP levels. An exercise routine or yoga could also help manage overall physiological wellness.

Managing Transitions

It is estimated that about 195 million jobs may be affected by Covid-19. Job loss, even in ordinary circumstances, is a significant stressor. Add the uncertainty of a pandemic, and it could feel like too much to bear. Not to mention the transitions that follow, such as moving back in with family or reorganizing your living arrangements entirely.

There will be many life-changing transitions during this pandemic. The most you can do is put in your best effort to get by and lean on your support system. Allow yourself room to grieve your losses too. Emotional suppression will harm you, but it will also prolong your healing.

Mental Health & COVID

Novel, unusual, devastating, and unprecedented. These are some of the words that have been used to describe the COVID pandemic. They all signify that none of us has a fool-proof manual on how to get through it. So, dare to be kinder to yourself and others. The whole world is learning on the job just how overwhelming it is to manage a pandemic. You are not alone in the struggle with mental health and more.

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

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