Today, the coronavirus pandemic is beginning to ease as the global vaccine rollout is making progress. Many people still remain under stress due to the extreme conditions we have all found ourselves living with. Maintaining your mental health during a pandemic can be extremely difficult, but it is important to make sure that you follow these tips to stay happy and healthy.
Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith Labs offers help to Arizona residents who are struggling with their mental health during Covid and provides some solutions that could help them live more balanced lives.
The Effect of Isolation
Many people have felt isolated during Covid, no more so than the elderly. With good intentions, younger family members largely shunned the company of their older loved ones in an effect to protect them from the virus. While it may have physically protected them from getting sick, it set them up for an increased rate of mental disorders like anxiety and depression.
Overall, the pandemic has had a serious impact on most people’s social lives. Humans are wired to have regular social contact with friends and family members, and many people, especially seniors, have difficulty using online meetups like Zoom calls as a substitute.
Isolation is hard on people of every age, but it has also had a lasting impact on children who cannot interact with their peers at home or school. Parents need to be sure that their children receive enough social and emotional support to get them through this difficult time.
Poor Health Habits
Being isolated by Covid has also led to many poor health decisions. People are eating more and exercising less. They often turn to alcohol and drugs to fill the void they feel because they cannot perform their normal activities. Not paying proper attention to your physical health will almost certainly lead to problems with your mental health.
How to Feel Better
Speak to your doctor or a mental health professional if you are feeling any of the following:
• Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
• Using alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism
• Or if fear and anxiety are affecting your daily life
Many mental health professionals are still seeing patients through telehealth at this time, so office visits are not needed. This can be an excellent way for an anxious patient to become accustomed to talk-therapy. Therapy and medication can be a useful pair, whether they are used alone or together. Even if you have been skeptical in the past, this is a good time to be open-minded.
Focus on Activity
During quarantine, many gyms and fitness centers closed. This made it extremely hard for many people to get the workouts they needed to stay mentally and physically healthy. Happily, gyms in most parts of the country are beginning to reopen, and if you are fully vaccinated and feel comfortable going into the gym in person, this could be a great option for you.
If you don’t feel comfortable at the gym just yet, there are plenty of ways that you can get your daily activity in. It is recommended that everyone get about 10,000 steps per day, as tracked by a pedometer or fitness tracker. Getting these steps could involve a daily run, or it could be as easy as walking around the neighborhood. Any improvement in step counts is positive since walking and running are exercises with many physical and mental benefits.
Home fitness equipment like rowing machines and stationary bikes can also be a great idea for people who are missing the gym. There are thousands of great free exercise classes available on YouTube, as well as paid apps for your smartphone or TV.
Refine Your Diet
Many people have grown tired of their constant home cooking and have begun to turn to takeout and delivery options. You should always keep in mind that restaurant food has much more fat and salt than home-cooked options; that’s why it tastes so good. If you do order takeout, eat a reasonable portion and save the rest for later. Try to confine takeout to once a week and cook healthy meals the rest of the week.
Quarantine baking has been a double-edged sword for many people. While baking is a fun and engaging hobby, many people have been isolated at home with no one to share their creations with. This could lead to weight gain and a loss of healthy habits.
Eating better and exercising are great ways to improve your mental health during Covid, but you may feel like you can do more to support your health. In this case, you may be interested in taking supplements. There are many health supplements on the market that can help you lower your blood sugar, increase your heart health, and even improve your mental health.
Connect As Much As You Can
As the world begins to open up again after Covid, there will be more opportunities to spend time with your family and friends. In the meantime, connect with them as much as you can. Rather than confining all of your interactions to text, try video chatting or phone calls to feel more connected. Your friends and family may be feeling isolated and stressed just like you, so they may really appreciate your effort to reach out and talk to them.
It can be difficult to stay positive when your mental health is suffering. If you need help, you need to reach out for it, especially now that people are disconnected from one another. Your primary care doctor is a great place to start.
Dr Ryan Shelton Zenith Labs wants to encourage people who are struggling to look into these simple lifestyle tips. If you can improve your daily routines, you can begin to feel more like yourself.