OSEA Safety Blog

Mental Health During a Pandemic

Monday, February 15, 2021 Ariana Naumovski

Mental Health During A Pandemic

It’s mind-blowing to think that a year ago, the WHO declared a global pandemic for COVID-19. American’s and people all over the world have quickly shifted from working in the office to working from home. For most, this was a dramatic change and a depressing one too; being home for 24 hours a day with limited human interaction. It’s no surprise that many people began to develop depression and anxiety from the sudden and dramatic change in life and schedules.

It is expected that this pandemic will last until 2022 with “normal” life not fully resuming until then. With that being said, the concern for mental health awareness and management is greater than ever.

Signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety can creep up on anyone. It is crucial that you stay aware of these signs and recognize them as soon as possible. This can help you to manage your depression and/or anxiety as soon as possible and as best as possible. Common signs and symptoms of mental illness include fatigue; suicidal thoughts; inability to cope with stress; extreme mood changes; withdrawal from family, friends, and activities; hard time falling/staying asleep; feeling down; poor memory; and detachment from reality.

Never feel bad or guilty about having a mental illness. There is hope and ways to help. Here are some easy ways to boost and take care of your mental health during the pandemic:

  • Use telemedicine to talk to a mental health specialist
  • Develop a calendar/schedule to fill with activities
  • Practice yoga
  • Exercise
  • Get dressed daily (Pj’s & sweat don’t count!)
  • Clearly define your working hours and stick to a work schedule
  • Limit you tv & computer time
  • Have a designated work area (Don’t work from bed or the couch!)
  • Get fresh air; take short walks during lunch and at the end of your workday
  • Get enough sleep
  • Join an online care group
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Make a list of all of the activities you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time to (This is your chance!)
  • Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Eat your way to a healthy brain; foods high in protein, fatty acids, & complex carbs are just what your brain needs to function properly
  • Video chat with friends & family

No one knows exactly how much longer we have with the current pandemic, but there is a light at the end of this tunnel. The pandemic will end, and we will be okay. Until then, make your mental health a priority. It’s never too late to start and you will benefit from it in the long run.

*If you or someone you know if suffering from mental illness, please contact the national mental health hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

For more resources, please visit the following sites:

  • Yoga Tips

https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/10-simple-yoga-poses-that-help-everyone-at-any-age/

  • Mindfulness Tips

https://buddhaimonia.com/blog/mindfulness-tips

  • Home Office Tips

https://jobs.workingsolutions.com/how-to-transform-work-at-home/

  • Mental Health Diet Tips

https://www.mhanational.org/healthy-diet-eating-mental-health-mind

Resources:

Graphic:

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm

Mental Illness signs & symptoms:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/symptoms-causes/syc-20374968

Links:

https://www.mhanational.org/healthy-diet-eating-mental-health-mind

https://jobs.workingsolutions.com/how-to-transform-work-at-home/

https://buddhaimonia.com/blog/mindfulness-tips

https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/10-simple-yoga-poses-that-help-everyone-at-any-age/

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