We are already in 2021 and it seems like the pandemic could end soon with the vaccines being disturbed across the world. More importantly, it is time to put your mental health back in order.
Some experts have described a few important steps on how to take care of your psychological health.
It was tough 2020 and the most common mental health issues people experienced during the pandemic are depression, anxiety, fear, isolation, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, among others.
Dr. Don Mordecai, National Leader for Mental and Behavioral Health at Kaiser Permanente, said anxiety disorders, followed by major depression and depressive disorders “really account for the lion’s share of conditions that we see. Next most common would be your substance use disorders. And, frankly, there are signals that all of these are going up under the pandemic.”
“Of course, we’re in this funny time where the vaccines are coming out, so people are very hopeful – but we’re also at the very worst time in terms of the pandemic’s effects,” he added. “So people may be feeling kind of whipsawed by that.”
Mental health experts have come up with a few strategies that could help restore your psychological and emotional health.
Maryland-based psychotherapist Dr. Anita Gadhia-Smith suggested, “Try to develop a morning routine of healthy activities that you do every morning to set the table for the day. That routine can include things like yoga, meditation, exercise, prayer, some sort of conversation or connection with friends or groups, listening to podcasts – anything that nourishes you.”
She also advised reaching out to others. “Reach out to three people a day,” Dr. Gadhia-Smith recommended. “And if you can, try to have a full conversation with three people a day. It really helps to reduce the isolation.”
The experts advised people to start having phone conservations or video chats. Also, they advised practicing mindfulness and meditation.
Dr. Mordecai urged people to try out mental health apps, such as Calm and myStrength.
It is important to start having fun and indulging in creative activities. “For your mental health, it’s really important to try to find healthy ways to have fun,” Dr. Gadhia-Smith explained. “Of course, we’re a lot more limited than we used to be, but there are lots of programs and activities online: opera, cultural events, museum events, all kinds of gatherings of people.”
She also advised people to eat healthily. “I’m seeing people really struggling with food,” she added, “because that’s one of the few things we can do, and a lot of people use to that to anesthetize themselves.” For more information on how to take care of your psychological health, read an article titled “Mental Health Reset 2021: Striving for Stability” published on U.S. News Health by Lisa Esposito, a patient advice reporter.