Taking Care of Your Mental Health During COVID-19
As the landscape changes and some aspects go back to normal, one thing about the coronavirus crisis is abundantly clear.
Nothing will ever go back to completely “normal” again.
COVID-19 has transformed every aspect of our lives—school is being taught online and social distancing makes it harder to connect with those we love.
With all this anxiety, it’s no wonder that the coronavirus has taken a toll on mental health. Coping with the stress and the unknown for several months can be a challenging task for anyone.
We care for every aspect of your health—not just your gynecological well-being—but your psychological health as well. That’s why we’ve provided this useful information on how to safeguard your mental health during this crisis.
How to Cope With Stress During the Pandemic
First, it’s important to realize that not everyone deals with stress in the same way. The important thing is to realize how you and your family are dealing with the situation. Then you can establish ways of coping. We’ve provided a few tips:
Give the news—and social media—a break
From the 24-hour news cycle to posts that have been shared and re-shared all across social media, it’s hard to escape information overload. But if watching cable news is starting to stress you out, it’s time to tune out for a while.
Take care of yourself
Stress can have devastating effects upon your body. In many cases, we’re tempted to turn to “comfort food” and sugars to help alleviate the tension.
But stressful situations means that it is even more important to take care of yourself than ever.
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Practicing yoga (if it’s safe for you to do so)
- Participating in activities you enjoy (where allowed)
Be gentle with yourself
We all have goals. These may be related to your career, your dreams, or even your hopes for your children. However, now is not the time to get frustrated if you find yourself falling short of these.
Remember that there is no “normal” during this crisis. Give yourself some breathing room. Remember if you are a “Type A” personality that this may be a time to let some things go or revisit them at a later time.
Connect with others
Social distancing and stay-at-home orders make it challenging to connect with your friends and family. Utilize technology to stay in touch. This may be a good time to re-establish contact with old school friends or relatives that you haven’t seen in a while.
Have a routine
Even if you are working remotely, we still suggest keeping a routine that is as close as possible to your workplace life. This predictability can help alleviate stress
Stay in contact with your health care team
Millions of Americans have chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and depression. During this stressful time, routines are frequently interrupted, and many offices may have changed their appointment policy.
Many providers who are not offering in—office appointments are reaching out through telemedicine.
Realize that health care is an essential service, and you should work closely with your doctors to ensure that you’re taking your medicine
Limit your use of alcohol
It should go without saying that, if you are pregnant, you should be avoiding alcohol completely. In some cases, alcohol can make stress worse. We recommend that if you’ve never drunk alcohol before, that this is not a good time to start.
If you do drink, do so in moderation. Discuss this with your physician. It is important that you understand the risks during pregnancy.
Limit your screen time
Who doesn’t love a good Netflix binge? However, you can have too much of a good thing. For example, video games can be a great distraction, but spending excessive amounts of time playing them can be unhealthy.
Limit the amount of time you sit in front of a screen, whether it’s a television or computer. Instead, try going outside for a walk or run (in accordance with state restrictions).
If you want to have quality family time, consider playing a board game instead of a video game.
When Should You Contact Your Healthcare Provider
Stress and anxiety are normal reactions to the pandemic. It’s natural to fear for your own health and the well-being of those you love.
However, if this stress becomes so intense that you’re unable to complete everyday activities, you should consider speaking with your healthcare provider or a professional counselor.
You should also be on the lookout for these signs:
- Dramatic changes in sleeping patterns
- Excessive difficulty concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health issues
- Increased alcohol use
We Are Here for You
We are on your side. We are dedicated to caring for your mental health during the coronavirus.
While our office policies may have changed we are always available to you through both in-office visits (for obstetrics and gynecological problems) and telemedicine appointments.
Contact us to let us know how we can help you.