The Pandemic has tapped into the mental and emotional aspects of our lives like no other virus. It has tested our courage, strength, and our ability to work together as a community. So, where has that left us? As we approach a more Corona-free way of life we reflect on what this virus has done to the people in its wake.
Isolating ourselves during the lockdown, a shortage of daily supplies and essentials, the closures of treasured businesses, the fear of losing our loved ones. A study by KFF.org notes that during the Pandemic about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. reported symptoms of anxiety and depression due to the worry and stressors caused by COVID-19. The research also looked at the increase in suicidal ideation and substance abuse since the start of the Pandemic, especially in young adults, reporting a significant increase in drug overdoses since the beginning of the 2020 lockdown.
The surge in domestic violence cases has been on the rise since the start of the lockdown. Greatergood.berkeley.edu notes several 2020 studies from the United States, China, and Spain on the matter. One study from New Orleans reported domestic aggravated assaults jumped 37 percent from January to April 2020.
So, what do we do about it?
- Find a support network. The research shows us that the mental health effects of the Pandemic are not isolated, meaning there are a lot of people out there submerged in this mental health crisis. The National Alliance on mental Health is a great resource for finding local and online support and discussion groups that can help you navigate through this difficult time.
- Push your boundaries. The Pandemic has forced us to lock ourselves in and avoid contact with others. COVID-19 is not a thing of the past just yet, but it’s time to bring some normalcy back into our lives. Think back to your pre-Pandemic normal routine. Did grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend bring you joy? Or how about window shopping at the mall with your partner? Slowly start adding these joyful moments back into your life. Above all, stay safe, social distance when necessary, and continue to wear a mask in public.
- Media detox. With breaking news and updates about the virus on almost every TV, radio, and social media outlet, it’s easy to get sucked in, causing fear and anxiety to spike. Take a break. Use your TV or tablet time for something other than current events. Watch your favorite movie or download the lasted crossword puzzle app to give your noggin some exercise. Skip the social media for the day and try reading a book or baking a new recipe. Avoid what’s fueling your fear and anxieties and replace it with happiness.
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