Many people are social distancing, wearing face masks, and taking other precautions to guard themselves and others against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Despite these preventative measures to protect their physical health, people may inadvertently ignore their mental wellbeing.
The pandemic and the challenges associated with it have contributed to a national mental health crisis. But, those who understand why this mental health crisis is happening can take steps to manage depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues during this unprecedented period.
A Closer Look at the National Mental Health Crisis Caused by COVID-19
COVID-19 struck quickly. It instantly transformed the way people work, go to school, and engage in other everyday activities. Lives were turned upside-down and a “new normal” was created, which is anything but normal.
The new normal has caused people to avoid other people and places that they previously enjoyed, as part of their efforts to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. In turn, it has led to extreme loneliness and isolation.
Loneliness and isolation are commonly linked to depression, particularly in the middle of the pandemic. If people are lonely and isolated from family members and friends, they may cycle through negative thoughts and feelings caused by the crisis. When negative thoughts and feelings linger, they can cause severe depression and various physical and emotional side effects. These thoughts and feelings may even escalate to the point where people coping with loneliness, isolation, and depression contemplate suicide.
Along with being physically isolated from family members and friends, companies have had to transition employees work remotely during the pandemic. This has led to physical separation from traditional office settings, which can also play a role in mental wellbeing.
Remote workers enjoy freedom and flexibility, since they don’t have to worry about the social pressure that comes with sitting at a desk or workstation. On the other hand, remote workers face a new kind of pressure, as they are responsible for getting their jobs done with minimal supervision. This new pressure can be overwhelming, and it may lead to mental health issues.
For instance, if remote employees feel too much pressure to work, they may be tempted to complete job tasks around the clock. This can lead to a poor work-life balance and impact a remote employee’s ability to maintain a healthy diet, get sufficient rest, engage with family members and friends, and be their best both at work and outside of it.
There is also a risk that remote workers become exceedingly lonely and isolated from their coworkers and superiors. Since remote employees are no longer working within the same physical office space as their colleagues, workers may feel lonely and isolated. Employees may be prone to prolonged feelings of sadness, helplessness, and other depression symptoms.
In addition to working from home, many schools are leveraging remote learning models as part of their efforts to help combat the spread of the coronavirus. The transition from bringing kids to school every day to setting up a remote learning environment has been difficult for many parents, and it can impact their mental wellbeing.
Parents want to do everything possible to help their kids succeed at school. They may dedicate significant time, energy, and resources to put their children in a position to thrive in a remote learning environment. To do so, parents may need to take time away from their jobs to help their kids get ready for remote learning sessions and ensure their children stay on track. This additional responsibility can contribute to work-related stress and anxiety. Parents may also be concerned about the lack of their kids’ social engagement, which can cause stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems to arise.
How to Manage Your Mental Wellbeing During the National Mental Health Crisis Caused by COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic is ongoing. People can find safe, healthy ways to manage their depression symptoms and other mental health issues throughout the crisis.
Doctors are offering in-person and telemedicine appointments during the pandemic, and these sessions allow mental health professionals to diagnose and treat mental health issues. If people feel lonely, isolated, and depressed, it can be tough to function. These people should seek medical help to discuss their symptoms with a doctor and find effective ways to manage them.
Medical support is key for people coping with the effects of the national mental health crisis caused by COVID-19. At the same time, there are many things that people can do independently to help alleviate their mental health problems.
For instance, people are still being urged to avoid large gatherings, which can limit their ability to engage with their loved ones. To mitigate this issue, set up regular phone or video chats with family members and friends. These chats can help people stay connected to their loved ones, even though they are physically apart.
Remote workers can benefit from virtual social gatherings as well. Employees can set up virtual sessions where coworkers and superiors come together to eat lunch, celebrate birthdays, and enjoy other fun activities outside of the traditional office setting.
For parents, they can engage with other parents via video chats, too. These chats provide opportunities for parents to share their thoughts and concerns about raising and educating their kids in the middle of the pandemic. Together, parents can offer tips and guidance and support one another.
Mindfulness activities can also be impactful for people throughout the pandemic. Journaling, meditating, and other mindfulness activities can help people break away from negative thoughts and feelings associated with the pandemic and appreciate life and the beauty of the world around them.
A healthy diet, regular exercise, and consistent sleep can make a big difference in terms of alleviating mental health issues during this national mental health crisis. People who consume foods rich in vitamins and nutrients are well-equipped to ward off infections that can otherwise make them feel sluggish and contribute to mental health issues.
A regular exercise routine can help people boost endorphins in the brain; endorphins are “feel-good” hormones that have been shown to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress and help people relax.
Finally, by combining a healthy diet and regular exercise with seven to nine hours of restful sleep each night, people can wake up every day feeling ready to make the most of it.
Introducing TMS Therapy from Achieve TMS
At Achieve TMS, our team is committed to helping people manage their mental wellbeing, and we offer transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment to people coping with depression. Our TMS program is designed to help patients alleviate their symptoms of depression and manage these symptoms.
Our medical clinicians are available to discuss TMS, and we can help patients determine if they can benefit from this depression treatment. To learn more or schedule a consultation, please contact us online, call, or text us today at 877-909-4363.
Is it possible to include a link to the “Overcoming Depression in the New Normal” blog post here once it goes live?
Is it possible to include a link to the “How to Look After Your Mental Health While Working Remotely” blog post here once it goes live?