How to improve your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic?
• Stay informed, but avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19. Periodically check the news and recommendations from trusted sites such as Corona virus disease (COVID-19) and local health authorities. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis in a constant stream
• Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid excessive alcohol and recreational drugs.
• Accept that there may be disappointment or frustration at changing plans such as cancelled or postponed vacations, or family visits. Acknowledge and accept strong emotions.
• Try as much as possible to stick to a daily routine, or create new ones to get through this period. If possible, make opportunities for children to play and relax.
The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession have negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders. During the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, a share that has been largely consistent, up from one in ten adults who reported these symptoms from January to June 2019. A KFF Health Tracking Poll from July 2020 also found that many adults are reporting specific negative impacts on their mental health and well-being, such as difficulty sleeping (36%) or eating (32%), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12%), and worsening chronic conditions (12%), due to worry and stress over the coronavirus. As the pandemic wears on, ongoing and necessary public health measures expose many people to experiencing situations linked to poor mental health outcomes, such as isolation and job loss.
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