Coronavirus can impact mental health 'temperature'
by Erin Massey, Behavioral Health Consultant, Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics
My new norm these days is arriving to work and taking my temperature. After reading "Taking Your Mental Health Temperature During COVID-19" by Kathy Katella at Yale University, this really got me to thinking about what the future brings for us, what are our new "norms," and how has this affected mental health?
I have heard many concerns from individuals that they are afraid that nothing will be the "same" as it was prior to the pandemic, and that we won't be able to go to gatherings such as barbecues with family and friends.
So, what if you take your mental health "temperature," and it's not where you feel it should be? There are a few simple things you can do to help with bringing your "temperature" back to normal. Self-awareness is a huge part of making sure that we are taking care of ourselves, and helps us to identify what areas of our lives may be increasing stress. Increasing self- care, journaling, and thinking about what you can do to change your current mental health status, and reflection on things that you've done in the past to change the way you feel and how it worked for you, are a few things that can be done to help with this.
Knowing what some of the signs are that your mental health "temperature" is off include worrying daily, sleep issues, disconnecting from loved ones, and spending more time on social media than usual. Especially during this time, it is important to limit our exposure to social media.
Change is difficult. That's why the article by Kathy Katella caught my eye. I hadn't really thought about checking my "mental health temperature" like I have been checking my physical temperature daily.
If you feel like you need to talk someone, if you continue to struggle with daily stressors, one of the more popular services being offered at this time is Telebehavioral Health. This gives you the opportunity to meet with a Behavioral Health Specialist to address your concerns, but to remain in the comfort of your own home at the same time. There are also COVID-19 mental health resources that are available on line such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
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