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We’re now approaching the two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many anniversaries are a time of celebration, this one may trigger anger, sadness, stress and even helplessness.
As the pandemic continues in waves and getting back to “normal” seems still far out of reach, you may feel apathetic when you hear advice about self-care and positive thinking. We want you to know it’s completely normal to struggle with feelings of helplessness at this time that has been — and continues to be — anything but normal. It’s OK not to feel OK.
There are things you can do to help you cope with these feelings. Remember you’re not alone and it’s OK to take it one day at a time. Here are some tips to help you stay afloat as we continue to look toward brighter days ahead.
1. Get Outdoors: While there may be challenges depending on where you live and the time of year, getting outside as much as you can, even for short spurts, is a great stress reducer. Going outside can help get you “out of your head” as you breathe in the fresh air and notice your surroundings. Being outdoors also promotes more physical activity like walking and jogging, which relieves anxiety too. You can be in the open air and stay active while also practicing social distancing.
2. Try Relaxation Techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, prayer, progressive relaxation and other techniques can make a big difference in your mood — in just a few minutes each day.
3. Lessen Media Consumption: While you continue to stay informed, make sure that your news sources regarding the pandemic are reliable, such as our Coronavirus Resource Hub or the CDC. But limit your news consumption to no more than a few times a day. Check in during the morning and afternoon, but avoid doing so right before bed.
4. Accept How You Feel: Sometimes, doing nothing when we think we have to be doing something is the best thing we can do to heal. This may sound counterintuitive, but you don’t have to force yourself to do anything when you’re at your lowest. Allow the feelings to come, acknowledge them, accept them for what they are, then let them pass. Pushing heavy feelings away often magnifies them, so sitting and crying with them can be therapeutic.
5. Seek Support: Making your mental health is a priority, especially during these trying times. We all need a helping hand and a compassionate, listening ear. Reach out to family, friends and trusted mentors whenever possible. You can also find a mental health professional who can help you navigate your challenges. Many therapists even offer virtual visits to meet your needs.
Keeping You Healthy and Whole
At AdventHealth, we strive for your whole-person health — staying well in body, mind and spirit. Checking in with your mental health is so important. If you find you’re having trouble coping and need additional support, we’re here for you. You can explore our behavioral health services here.
Know that it’s OK to reach out, and to not feel your best right now. Our expert team of physicians, psychologists, counselors and social workers will care for you with the uncommon compassion you deserve to make you feel whole.