Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19

Throughout history, people have seen waves of epidemics that have had fatal impacts on populations all over the world. Devastating diseases such as AIDS/HIV, cholera, the Spanish flu, and polio were either eradicated or are currently being helped with successful treatments. While new illnesses and conditions pop up, since late 2019 a new disease has erupted. COVID-19, commonly called the coronavirus, began in Asia and has spread rapidly worldwide. Countries have been watching the world’s newest pandemic closely and actively restricting people in public places like parks, schools, and businesses. Virtual learning had to be put together for children to continue their education and many are being asked to work from home. Authorities are continuously encouraging citizens to remain at home in hopes of reducing the spread of the virus and keep everyone healthy. It’s important to maintain some normalcy during this time, including keeping up with your personal physical and mental health. Here are some ways to keep everyone in a healthy mental state during this distressing time.

Different ways of maintaining your normal schedule while keeping your distance can be utilized with the help from technology. In California for example, therapist Dr. Laura Kasper offers teletherapy in San Francisco. This is a convenient option for busy people on the go for work, couples with conflicting schedules, or those who are practicing social distancing and in need of a session. Keeping up with mental wellness is vital for everyone during normal circumstances, but especially so in confusing and stressful situations. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) can be beneficial in teaching you how to identify triggers and cope with stress. Your therapist works with you to find the right programs to achieve goals as well as guides you to rethink or change how you once approached certain problems and situations. Becoming overwhelmed with things that aren’t in your control can cause an anxiety or panic. You may learn techniques to focus on being proactive for you and your family. Taking control of your fears encourages you to feel less overloaded emotionally.

Approaching mental wellness using alternative methods with an open mind may help patients to find a great balance of Western and integrative medicine. Chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, endometriosis, arthritis, and lupus can flare up during stressful events. Combining traditional medicine with complementary medicine can benefit the body and mind, impacting and connecting the physical, spiritual, and emotional self. Integrative medicine and functional medicine concentrates on issues such as a person’s holistic lifestyle and how the body naturally heals itself. Having a positive and healthy outlook helps treat the whole person and may promote a stronger immune response. Conventional medicine is often used in conjunction with alternative medicine. Cancer patients need many treatments such as chemotherapy and a variety of medications approved by the FDA. Still, clinical trials allow patients to try experimental drugs and treatments. Off-label drugs (medications used for one thing but found to help another) is another option people often turn to. Natural products like hemp-derived CBD may be beneficial for pain, social anxiety, PTSD, and have calming effects on the mind. You can order CBD to be delivered to your home, decreasing the risk of exposure and giving you more peace of mind during social distancing.

Staying indoors around the clock with family and friends can reinforce bonds and much-needed family time. It can, unfortunately, also create tension and added stress to an already trying situation. School closings mean millions of children are home with their parents, all trying to co-exist and work together. Calming activities like yoga and tai chi can help center your mind and relax the nerves. Being happy can even give a much-needed boost to your immune system. Another unique activity the family can participate in is checking out a virtual museum tour. You don’t have to miss a movie night thanks to new extensions easily added to your browser settings, courtesy of Netflix.

 

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