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8 Steps to Take to Focus on Mental Health

man standing on shore of sunset-lit beach

By Mary Zamost, Quality Care Coordinator

Although the physical health effects of global pandemics typically take center stage, the mental health effects are just as notable and can be just as devastating.

Many of us are experiencing these effects in real-time. Due to consistently-updated information, long work hours and caring for family (and yourself), the COVID-19 pandemic is emotionally overwhelming.

It's important to pause for a moment and collect your thoughts. Remaining calm can help.

During uncertain times like these, it is completely normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed. Emotions in response to uncertainty may include anxiety, fear, anger and sadness.

You may be feeling feel helpless, discouraged and even out of control. Physical responses to these feelings may include headache, muscle tension, fatigue and sleeplessness.

Protect Your Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic with These Steps

This month consider your own mental health. Take the following steps to encourage mental growth and well-being during this time.

  • Set and maintain a routine at home.
  • Focus on things you can control. Let go of material and emotional clutter. This will lessen stress and allow you to focus on what’s important to you.
  • Practice basic self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals and exercising, to keep your mind strong.
  • Use technology to maintain social connections with your loved ones. Consider regular check-ins to give you something to look forward to.
  • Focus your thoughts on the present. What can you be thankful for today?
  • Listen to music or read books. Get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Vitamin D is a proven mood-booster.
  • Consume reliable news sources that report facts, making sure to avoid media that sensationalizes emotions. Limit your exposure or take a break from the news and social media if you find that it makes you anxious.
  • Be engaged in your community. Connectedness is strongly linked to higher life satisfaction.
    • Look for ways to help others around you, such as blood donations, checking on older people in your neighborhood or donating supplies/money to local organizations.
    • Acknowledge and appreciate what others are doing to help you and those in your community.

Mental health is key to your overall health and well-being. Whether it’s a stressful day at work or home, receiving bad news or just feeling exhausted, small steps can make a big difference.

These steps may not be able to make you feel like you’re living your best. If you notice prolonged periods of depression, anxiety, fear or any other extreme emotion, you should contact your personal doctor to see what options are available to help you get the most out of this summer and beyond.

As always, if you have any questions about the information here, reach out to us today.


Reference: Mayo Clinic Health System

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