Heather Deecken, LCSW
How to Deal with the Mental Health Crisis as a Result of the Pandemic
Are you feeling overwhelmed and like you don’t have control over your emotions? Are you feeling lonely and disconnected from others and/or yourself? These are common reactions for individuals experiencing significant changes or stressors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether these feelings are new or have been an ongoing issue for you, you are not alone and you have a right to those feelings.
There are various techniques we can implement to begin working through some of these uncomfortable emotions. Keep reading to learn about strategies that may be helpful in managing your mental health during this pandemic.
Acknowledge and Validate How You Are Feeling
It is very common and easy to become judgmental of how we are feeling or responding to certain circumstances. We start to place expectations on how we “should” be feeling or what we “should” be doing. Have you ever tried to push away a certain feeling so hard but it continues to reappear, only now with a vengeance?
In a time like this, it is important to acknowledge and allow yourself to feel any emotion that comes up for you. Once we allow ourselves to feel the emotion, that emotion loses its power and we are better able to work through it.
Take Care of Your Physical Body
Taking care of your body can have a huge impact on your mental health. Whether it’s getting active and/or eating a well-balanced meal, you can influence how your brain is functioning and responding.
There are many types of physical self-care. One form is to get active whether that is going for a walk, doing an at-home workout, or stretching. It’s an added bonus if you are able to complete this movement outside and absorb some Vitamin D. Another form can be filling your body with nutritious and well-balanced meals. These activities can help release some natural endorphins (I like to call this, the “good feeling” hormone).
Connect with Supportive Family or Friends
Social isolation has increased significantly for many individuals during this pandemic. As a result, there are a lot of emotions that can arise such as loneliness, depression, anxiety, and irritability.
It is extremely important to reach out to supportive family or friends, even if it is over a phone call or video chat. Engaging in these social interactions have an impact on the wiring of your brain and has been proven to release the “love hormone”, Oxytocin. Reach out to a friend. Check in on them. Talk about your new favorite TV show or the tasty dinner you made last night.
Reach Out for Professional Help
If you continue to experience these difficult emotions, it may be time to reach out to a therapist. This is a challenging time for many and if there is one takeaway from this article, it is that you do not have to go through this alone.
If you are looking to take the next step in your healing process and are wanting to sort out and work through these emotions, please give me a call at 954.391.5305 for a free 15-minute consultation call.