Mental health challenges like depression, anxiety and PTSD affect people from all walks of life and in every country on Earth. Despite the prevalence of mental illness, many stigmas still exist around openly discussing and seeking help for these disorders. To help put an end to these prejudices and shine a light on the importance of mental health, the World Health Organization has designated Oct. 10 as the annual observation of World Mental Health Day.
The anxieties and uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have created unique challenges for everyone, especially in terms of its impact on mental well-being. Medical experts have cautioned that a public health crisis of this magnitude could have far-reaching, long-ranging psychological effects. With that in mind, what steps can you take to protect your mental health in these trying times?
1. Keep up With the News – but Don’t Overdo It
Physicians and researchers on the front lines of treating this novel coronavirus are still learning new things about COVID-19. It’s crucial to stay abreast of developments and discoveries, but don’t obsess over coverage. Only get your coronavirus news from reliable sources like Johns Hopkins University, instead of relying on rumors and hearsay from social media. You can further preserve your mental well-being by taking frequent breaks from bad news and limiting your consumption of the day’s headlines.
2. Take Reasonable Health Precautions
The emergence of such a highly contagious, fatal disease is frightening. Luckily, you can take some common-sense steps to protect yourself and prevent the spread of illness in your community. Frequent handwashing, sanitizing high-touch surfaces and wearing a mask when you must go out in public are still your first line of defense to ensure you stay healthy.
If you have OCD or health-related anxiety, try not to give in to compulsive behavior or let your fears dictate your response. For example, 20 seconds of handwashing with soap and water is sufficient to disable the virus. You don’t need to scrub your hands under scalding water for a full minute “just to be safe.”
3. Find a Therapist
As your understanding of mental health challenges improves, so should your appreciation of the need to work with a therapist on various problems and challenges you face. Sadly, many people struggling with their mental well-being never get the help they need to improve their lives. There’s no reason to be afraid or let stigma hold you back from going through therapy.
Professional therapists have specific training in identifying and addressing the underlying causes of mental illness, and working with a therapist can teach you how to identify and respond to negative triggers. During COVID-19, more therapists are offering their services remotely via teletherapy, allowing you to get the counseling you need on your schedule, without leaving the comfort of your home.
You’re Never Alone
It’s reassuring to think that no matter what obstacles you encounter in life, someone else has gone through similar circumstances and emerged stronger on the other side. At Canyon Crossing, we believe every woman has the inner strength and grace to work through unresolved trauma, addiction and other mental health struggles. When you’re ready to start your recovery journey, contact us to learn more.