May is officially National Mental Health Awareness Month (aka Mental Health Month). Of course, mental health is important all year-round, but emphasizing these issues gives us the chance to come together to show our support and efforts for those who suffer from mental disorders and illnesses. COVID-19 has hit us all hard. Not just physically and within our industries and families, but mentally as well. For some of us, we’re in hitting nearly two months of social distancing, and the struggle is real. For others, like healthcare professionals, it seems like an endless hamster wheel of hard work and coping and exhaustion and fear. Everyone’s asking: What is normal anymore? How do we process our current state of living?
How Healthcare Professionals Can Manage Mental Health During COVID-19
Uncertainty over our economy is pushing some states to reopen, adding a whole new list of emotions to our mental state. Anxiety, fear, excitement, relief, and uncertainty can all take a toll on our mental well-being. As some states look to reopen after social distancing, here are some tips on how healthcare professionals can manage their mental health and ways to cope, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Seek support from your circle.
There’s nothing like a global crisis to make us really focus on what matters in life. Surrounding yourself with people who support you and your mental health, whether taking time each week for a video chat to vent, or simply talking with your family or a partner about how you’re currently feeling can help you keep a pulse check on your mental well-being.
Seek support professionally.
With telehealth gaining popularity, the hurdles of seeking mental health support during the pandemic are being bridged more than before. Most mental health therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists are available for support via telehealth or via apps like Talkspace, so you can still get the professional care you need even while social distancing.
Take a break from the news.
Watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media regarding the pandemic can be upsetting and spike your anxiety.
Pay attention to your body.
Take care of your physical well-being to help your mental well-being. Deep breaths, stretching, and medication can help you lower your blood pressure. Eating healthy, exercising, and getting regular sleep keeps your body in optimal condition to temper stress. Managing your mental health during COVID-19 can seem like just another thing to add to the ever-growing list of to-dos during this pandemic. Don’t ignore your mental health status, or suppress your feelings. Seek help and support when you need to, and remember that we are all in this together.