Potential Effects of COVID on Mental Health

The isolation of the COVID pandemic has lasting effects on mental health.

As the infection rates of the COVID-19 virus decline, the long-term effects of the pandemic continue to plague Americans. Whether you are a COVID survivor or simply struggling with more than a year of isolation, the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic can affect your mental health.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Public health actions, such as social distancing, are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but they can make us feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety.”

Stress can lead to various feelings such as fear, anger, and frustration. Additional effects include appetite changes, difficulty concentrating or sleeping, and physical ailments like headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes.

For those suffering from chronic physical and mental health issues before the pandemic, COVID-19 has often exacerbated their effects.

While experts say that feelings of stress and anxiety are to be expected during a health crisis, they urge people to take steps to reduce stress in their lives. In addition to reducing the use of tobacco and alcohol, the CDC suggests these healthy ways to cope with stress:
● Take a break from social media, watching television, and reading news stories
● Practice self-love, such as breathing deeply, stretching, or meditating
● Eat well-balanced, healthy meals
● Exercise regularly
● Get at least eight hours of sleep daily

Additionally, visit your family physician and continue to receive routine health preventive measures such as cancer screenings and physical exams. Finally, and most importantly, talk to your doctor about getting the COVID-19 vaccination. There are plenty of places to get it here in the Dallas area.

Finally, trust yourself and your feelings. Talk with others, and do not be afraid to express your feelings. If you are depressed and need to talk to someone, there is help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) for English or 888-628-9454 for Spanish.

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