The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a lot of Americans in lockdown for almost half a year now. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still discourages mass gatherings. People can’t go outside unless they’re going out for supplies, in a medical emergency, or heading to work. That leaves you with limited ways to socialize with others. You also have to deal with challenges like working from home, the possible threat of unemployment, and the threat of catching the virus from the simplest of physical interactions.
These unfamiliar and unpleasant experiences can create immense stress and anxiety, which may lead to possible mental health issues, according to an article by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Other Side of the Pandemic
The WHO recently interviewed Dr. Konstantions Petsanis, a neurosurgeon-in-training, who worried about the mental health repercussions of the recent pandemic. Dr. Pestanis was one of the many doctors deployed to assess people who may have a COVID-19. The Greek-born doctor found that most of the patients he encountered had mental health warning signs. He said that the mere worry that a person may have caught the virus could put them in a behavior-changing state of panic.
A paper published in the QJM International Journal of Medicine shares the same fear as Dr. Petsanis. Its researchers reviewed studies that studied the effects of lockdown restrictions because of global infections. It found that every study saw a decrease in the well-being of its respondents. They shared common problems ranging from frustration and boredom to pervasive anxiety and disabling loneliness.
How to Cope With the Mental Health Effects of the Pandemic
During these unprecedented times, it’s not just important to protect your physical health; it’s vital to keep your mental health in check as well. So, how can you cope with the effects of this quarantine?
- Talk about your feelings — It’s, unfortunately, typical to feel fearful and anxious during a pandemic. Remember that you’re not alone in this situation. Talk to friends and family about how you think to alleviate your stress. You may also do the same to them if they feel the same by listening to their anxieties as well.
- Take a break from the controversy — It’s easy to get stressed because of the continuously climbing cases in the country. If it gets too much, don’t be afraid to disconnect. Keep away from news sites and social media for a while. If you desperately need news, get them from reliable sources instead of sensationalist outlets.
- Don’t be afraid to get professional help — The stress and anxiety you feel may cause you to slide into bad habits. If you find yourself drinking too much or self-harming because of the recent pandemic, don’t be afraid to ask help from the nearest alcohol rehab center. Professional psychiatrists and therapists will give you the resources you need to help you get back on your feet.
The pandemic doesn’t just affect your physical health; it impacts your mental health, too, with its possible effects ranging from boredom to immense anxiety of loneliness. Cope with the new normal with these suggestions. With a healthy mind and body, you’re sure to survive the lockdown.