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This Month In Health
  • Unsettled, Uncertain, and Under Lockdown
    As the battle against COVID-19 is being fought, an internal battle is being waged for mental health, as cases of anxiety, depression, and loneliness are increasing. What are the mental health dangers during a pandemic, and how can you take care of your mental health during this time? Read >>
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Health and Fitness News

Unsettled, Uncertain, and Under Lockdown

Social isolation’s impact on your mental health.

For weeks, the order was to stay at home in an effort to limit the spread of the virus and save lives. While many communities are slowly starting to open up, there are many people still staying home in an effort to avoid contracting the coronavirus. As the battle against COVID-19 is being fought, an internal battle is being waged for mental health, as cases of anxiety, depression, and loneliness are increasing.

What are the mental health dangers during a pandemic? How can you take care of your mental health during this time? Keep reading to find out.

Mental Health Dangers

You’ve been told to stay home, wear a mask, wash your hands, and keep at least six feet from people, but like all humans, you are a social creature. Living in isolation from others for a prolonged period of time is tough on your mental (and physical) health.

Loneliness is a risk factor for many diseases and a weakened immune system, but it’s also harmful to your mind. A lack of social interaction can lead to cognitive decline, dementia, neuroticism, depression, and hallucinations. The longer isolation continues, the greater the potential mental effects.

When can kids go back to school? Will there be sporting events, concerts, and festivals? Will the economy recover? Will I or someone I love get coronavirus? Was I exposed? Do I have symptoms? Will I get the virus if I go to the grocery store?

The future is uncertain and unpredictable, and fears are in everyone’s mind. Already anxious people are dealing with a whole new set of fears as they feel a loss of control over new areas of life.

Maybe you’re one of the millions who has lost their job or have lost income. How will you pay the bills? How long until your income will be restored? Many people are dealing with financial stress during the pandemic and it’s taking a toll on their mental health.

As if fear and loss of income isn’t enough, you may be experiencing symptoms of grief and not realize it. It may sound silly, but it’s normal to grieve over all of the things you’ve missed out on over the past few months—sports seasons, graduations, birthday parties, religious gatherings, and normal life. Like all grief, this grief is likely expressed as denial, anger, depression, and eventually acceptance.

Improve Your Mental Health

In the midst of all the challenges of a pandemic, it’s important to take steps to stay as mentally healthy as possible.

If you’re experiencing high levels of anxiety or depression, seek professional help. If you’re not comfortable meeting in person, counselors and therapists are available to meet online.

You may not be able to hang out with your friends in person, but you can still stay connected through technology. Texts, calls, and video chats are simple ways to communicate with friends and family.

Exercise is a highly effective way to improve your mental health, manage stress, and treat depression and anxiety. Work out in your home or go for a walk or jog around the neighborhood.

If at all possible, get out of the house and spend time in nature. Green space and sunshine can do wonders for mental health. Just 10 minutes of sunlight exposure every day gives you a boost of vitamin D and immune system support.

Keep as regular a routine as possible. Wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day. Think of productive things to keep you busy. Even if you’re not reporting to work, having purpose to your day is vital to good mental health.
Take breaks from the news, social media, and screens. Constant reminders of the virus, its effects, and rumors will exacerbate your anxiety.