Managing Your Mental Health in these Uncertain Times

Given the complexities surrounding COVID-19 pandemic, and its impact on human life, feelings of stress, anxiety or depression are common reactions in this time of uncertainty. Especially when there is a perception of danger. The COVID-19 pandemic has likely brought these feelings and many changes to your life with altered daily routines, financial pressures and social isolation.

These are confusing, changing and stressful times. Many are feeling the fear and anxiety of what’s happening to society, what’s happening to our economy, and what’s happening to our friends and relatives. It is important to be aware of these changes and take steps to help cope.

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, it is more important than ever to manage stress, observe triggers and find support for you or your loved ones. We’ve gathered some tips and resources that may help.

Self-Care strategies

Monitor yourself as your body responds to these changes we are experiencing due to the pandemic. Are you having disrupted sleep? See what changes can be made to help you regulate. Are you anxious? It is important to monitor how you are feeling at this time and determine what self-care strategies you can implement into your daily activities.

Maintain good health habits

Make sure you’re getting your nutrients, vitamins and exercise. Eating nutritional meals can help boost your immune system and keep your body in top working order. Physical activity and exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve mood. If it’s easy to maintain distance from people as recommended by the CDC and WHO, try going for a walk or a bike ride outside. Or workout at home, many gyms and studios are adjusting their business plan by offering online workout classes. You-Tube and Instagram also has a large selection of workout videos and tutorials you can follow along at home.

Connect to your support network

You may not be able to physically hug or see your loved ones or inner circle of friends, but you can continue to build connections through virtual hangouts. Call, FaceTime, Zoom or Skype can be useful tools and will help reduce your isolation. Build support and strengthen relationships.

Maintain your regular routine

Continue to keep a schedule is important to your mental health. Having consistent times for meals, sticking to a regular bedtime routine, bathing and getting dressed will help maintain a routine and structure to set time for work, hobbies and relaxing.

Allow Flexibility

There may be days that you feel great, productive and active. While other days you may experience tiredness, inability to concentrate, or stress. Be flexible and understanding as your body adjusts. Find balance each day in the fact daily life is changing.

Take breaks from the media

Limit exposure to news media. Getting constant news from all types of media can heighten fears and anxiety about the disease. Limiting media to a certain amount of time each day with only reputable and reliable sources such as CDC, WHO and your local governing announcements to stay updated.

Ask questions on health coverage

If you don’t have health insurance and are worried about finding coverage options in this stressful time, ­­­have questions on coverage in your area or special enrollment periods, we are here to help. VelaPoint Insurance has licensed agents that can help explain your options further and walk you through a needs-analysis to help determine where your coverage needs land. Call 855-548-0727 or visit VelaPoint Marketplace for more information.

Parents with children

Kids are also with the changes to their everyday lives and the confusion of what is going on. Being transparent and speaking to your children is very important to keep stress levels down. The National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of School Nurses created this Parent Handout as a resource for talking to children about Covid-19.

Try new resources for stress and anxiety

If you’ve been feeling the pressures of the pandemic with anxiety and stress, there are some online resources that may help. Free Apps are available to download. They range in offerings that vary from, meditation to ease anxiety, coping strategies, skills for breathing and self-awareness.

Seek Help

For those experiencing distress with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration has the Disaster Distress Helpline. That’s 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

For those who are really struggling, and are thinking of hurting or killing themselves, there’s the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or you can text “HOME” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Resources in response to the pandemic