How Are You Doing, Mental Health-Wise?By Miriam Bello | Thu, 04/23/2020 - 12:09
After years of being a taboo for society, now dabbling into our own mental health is common and encouraged. COVID-19 is now making clearer and more evident that well-being consists of much more than just money and that an integral health is a true necessity.
COVID-19 has pushed our boundaries and reshaped the way we live and relate to one another. Uncertainty, change of routines, economic worries and social isolation can be much to take, which is why it is important to listen and take care of what we are feeling and going through.
According to WHO, the main psychological impact of the pandemic has been reflected on elevated rates of stress or anxiety. Specially on places where the virus has heavily affected people’s way of living, such as Italy, concerns regarding people with existing mental health conditions are arising. The organization has developed support material on mental health and psychosocial support for children and adults due to COVID-19 as stress and anxiety levels are likely to increase.
Mental Health America explains that mental health conditions are by nature isolating, so it is important that now, more than before, connections and care for others take priority. The organization has also posted recommendations to follow in case of need during this time.
A study made by Our World in Data estimates that 10.7 percent of the global population lives with a mental health condition. Depression and anxiety are among the two most common disorders affecting 3.4 percent and 3.8 percent of the population globally, respectively.
An article of Veredict says that the challenges for mental health are significant as this pandemic has changed our sense of connection, our habits from eating to exercising, sleep and quality time, while also impacting our job security and general financial matters.
General recommendations posted by WHO and many other specialists suggest limiting the time spent on social media, avoiding the news and seeking only for updates once a day, eating a healthy and nutritious diet as it helps the immune system, limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding sugary drinks, avoiding smoking, having a routine, staying connected, listening to your needs and offering support to others.
Devex posted an article with in depth recommendations for employers looking to support their staff, highlighting communication to help certainty, creating connectivity for social spaces, empowering staff leaders to mentor or share important information like insurance policy coverages and mental health resources, being mindful of staff behaviors and being an example of your own expectations.
Luckily, technology and digital tools have made connectivity easier and while it might not be the same, they help in building communication channels. Technology can let us feel closer to loved ones, share our voice and learn from others. It can be a distraction and a source of knowledge and it can even be the place to seek for healthcare. People can find online therapy or apps, such as Yana, that can help you acknowledge your feelings and seek professional health. Technology can put us one step closer to others, but to ourselves and mental peace, too.