The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a big toll on millions of people’s mental health. Throughout this troubled period, feelings of depression, despair and isolation have run rampant – and frankly, it isn’t hard to see why. So, if you’ve treated mental health as an afterthought over the last 18 months, there’s no time like the present to correct this mistake. Neglecting your psychological wellbeing at this point in time is liable to make weathering the rest of the pandemic all the more difficult. In the interest of safeguarding your mental health during COVID-19, put the following measures into practice.
Protect Yourself from COVID-19
The fully justified fear of contracting the novel coronavirus is at the root of a lot of people’s pandemic-related mental health issues. In the interest of protecting yourself and improving public health, there are a number of common-sense precautions you should be taking to avoid infection. Most importantly, you should get vaccinated at your earliest possible convenience. Some people have medical conditions that make vaccination unsafe, but unless you’re one of them, you need to get your vaccine posthaste.
Even after you’re fully vaxxed, you should continue wearing a mask in public spaces, regardless of whether any masking rules are in effect. This will help prevent breakthrough infections and lower your chances of passing virus particles to unvaccinated individuals.
Touch Base with Your Support Network
Due to the novel coronavirus’s highly infectious nature, many of us have limited in-person interactions with various friends, family members and close acquaintances throughout the course of the pandemic. For example, people with compromised immune systems have needed to be very careful about who they interact with and where they go. However, it’s important to realize that not being unable to see certain people in person doesn’t mean these individuals have just stopped existing. In the digital age, there’s no shortage of ways to communicate with members of your support network, so if you have the urge to touch base with someone special, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone or grab your computer.
For many people, regular human contact is a basic tenet of sound mental health. With this in mind, make a point of catching up with the people who mean the most to you on a consistent basis. Additionally, if you’re fully vaccinated, you should be able to safely interact with other fully vaccinated individuals. Of course, in the interest of avoiding potential breakthrough infections, you should still take common-sense precautions.
Stay Away from People Who Are Conducive to Stress
Throughout every step of this pandemic, misinformation and bad faith skepticism have been tremendous problems. Additionally, with several vaccines now widely available, vaccine hesitancy has also become an issue. So, if there are people in your life who readily spread and embrace misinformation, refuse to get vaccinated and chide you for protecting yourself, you’d do well to keep your distance. Not only are these individuals bad for your mental health, they can also prove detrimental to your physical health and potentially saddle you with a breakthrough infection.
Seek Professional Assistance
Working with a seasoned therapist, counselor or another type of mental health professional can help you weather this dark period with your sanity intact. In addition to providing a healthy outlet for talking about your problems and venting assorted frustrations, counseling can provide you with invaluable stress management tools and help you make peace with past trauma.
The exact treatment regimen your doctor will recommend depends on the mental health issues you’re dealing with, as well as the severity of those issues. For example, if depression is among your most pressing problems, depression medication may factor into your treatment.
In times as unprecedented as these, safeguarding your mental health should be among your foremost priorities. As if an active pandemic wasn’t bad enough, millions of willfully unvaccinated Americans continue to make this situation worse at every turn. Not only are we under attack by a highly infectious virus, we’re also forced to contend with people who couldn’t care less about public health. That being the case, it’s easy to see why so many of us are at our breaking points mental health-wise. Anyone looking to get a handle on their mental health during this difficult time should consider the tips discussed above.