Mental Health Month: COVID-19 and Mental Health

Article By Alyssa Mielke

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the City of Rocklin is sharing tips from the organization Mental Health America to help manage mental health each week.

The novel coronavirus has affected all of us, whether or not we’ve been infected. Our daily lives have been disrupted due to stay at home orders, social distancing, and business closures. It is normal to feel worry and stress during a time of crisis, and paying attention to mental health can help people better cope with the situation.

Your Concerns Are Valid
The things many of us may be worried about have merit. Getting sick, passing the virus onto others, and being concerned about loved ones’ health are all valid concerns. Supply shortages, feelings of isolation, and the financial stress related to this crisis are also valid concerns. We are all adjusting to a new reality, and that change is difficult.

Realize What You Can Control
There are still a number of things people can control and focusing on those things can provide peace of mind. Most of us can control our body, our immediate environment, the amount and type of news and information consumed. We can also prepare for tasks and assignments, eat healthy, stay physically active and make responsible choices.

Tips for Managing Anxiety
Feeling worried and stressed during times of crisis is normal. Experiencing anxiety is your body’s exaggerated response to worry and tension. Common symptoms of anxiety can include uncontrollable worry, digestive problems, trouble with concentration, an increased heart rate, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and changes in energy. Meditating, exercising, and deep breathing can all help to reduce anxiety, in addition to staying in touch with loved ones through phone calls and video chats.

If these steps to manage worry and anxiety don’t seem to be helping, there are crisis counselors available 24/7 at 1-800-985-5990 who can offer support.

Find more information and resources about COVID-19 and mental health at mhanational.org/covid19.

*This article is part of a series for mental health awareness during the month of May. A new article with mental health tips will be released each week.