With much of the United States observing self-quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic, now is an even more critical time to be aware of your mental well-being. In observation of Mental Health Month 2020, here are some examples of ways self-quarantine affects your mental health.
1. Loss of Connection
By now, we are aware of the need to stay isolated to protect ourselves and those around us from a highly contagious disease. For most of us, this has created a sense of lost connections – with friends, family members, classmates and co-workers. If you were a regular at a particular restaurant, you may miss seeing your favorite servers. Those who enjoyed active social lives before coronavirus may feel lonely without being able to hang out with friends. Even introverted people who thrive on time spent alone need social interaction. When you start feeling lonely or sad about the lack of being able to get together or gather in large group settings such as movies, sporting events or concerts, try virtual meetups instead. You might be surprised by how much better you feel after seeing friendly faces on your computer screen. Don’t just use the time to catch up superficially; take this chance to get to know people better.
2. Heightened Anxiety
A constant barrage of upsetting headlines has dominated national news for the past several months, with no end in sight. It’s only natural that many people have reported feeling symptoms of chronic stress such as insomnia, irritability, high blood pressure, difficulty concentrating, digestive problems and impaired memory. If you’re feeling more anxious than usual, recognize when it’s time to take a mental health break. Make time each day for self-care, such as:
- Working out
- Meditation and yoga
- Preparing and eating well-balanced meals
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Avoiding unhealthy coping mechanisms
Some experts project we’re all at increased risk of psychological trauma, including PTSD, from the unique circumstances created by this pandemic. That is especially true if you are an essential worker, such as a health care provider. People who have found themselves unexpectedly unemployed due to coronavirus are also experiencing a unique form of trauma in the overall loss of normalcy and financial security.
Is It Time to Seek Help?
While we hope information about how to manage your mental health in this challenging time eases your burdens somewhat, it’s no substitute for qualified medical care. If you’re getting overwhelmed, there is no shame in asking for help. Here are some resources you can use.
- A state-by-state list of therapists available for virtual counseling during the pandemic
- An online course about managing your mental health during COVID-19
- National helpline from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Pandemic mental health page from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- “How to Be Your Best Self in Times of Crisis” – a TED talk with psychologist Susan David
- Online addiction support resources
Preserving Your Mental Health Amid Coronavirus
If you need a high-accountability sober living environment to help you avoid a relapse during this emotionally challenging time, reach out to us at Segue Recovery Support. We remain open and dedicated to providing our life-changing addiction recovery services during COVID-19.