The Coronavirus pandemic can not only cause anxiety over contracting the virus or concern for the well being of our elderly loved ones. Not only can it induce dread that our healthcare system will become overwhelmed or resources will become depleted and scarce. The barrage of information can affect your mental health and your mental illness treatment regimen.
Those managing an existing mental health condition can experience intensified complications because of an overabundance of negative or alarming information.
According to the CDC, some actions you can take to support yourself during this time are:
- Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19.
- 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 alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return to your normal life.
- Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships.
- Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.
And above all, if you do have a preexisting mental health condition, you should continue with your treatment plan during an emergency and monitor for any new symptoms.
Individuals with preexisting mental illness aren’t the only ones at risk for experiencing stress to their mental health during this pandemic. Others that may be affected are health care workers and first responders, children, and people with substance abuse issues.
Learn more about caring for your mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic in this informative page on the CDC’s website.