Pandemic impacts mental as well as physical health


JoAnn Sharpless

If you find yourself feeling lost or just feeling like you need to talk to someone you can call the Beaver County Crisis Intervention Hotline at 724-371-8060 or the National Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

JoAnn Sharpless, Managing Editor (Web)

As the lockdown for COVID-19 continues, people are having a harder time dealing with their mental health. Whether people are dealing with prior mental health issues or have no history of mental health issues, many are finding themselves thrown into situations that they don’t know how to handle. This quarantine has changed everything about everyone’s lives, from things normally done on a day-to-day basis to the things are no longer possible. For many people, this means that their worlds are changing, which is something that many people can’t handle.

Whether it’s not being able to go out to restaurants or movies, see family members or even go to other events that are now canceled, this pandemic has affected people of all ages. For adults, this could mean not being able to see their parents who are in nursing homes, or maybe they have even lost their job, which means that they are now stressed to support their families. For young adults, this could be a scary time for many coming out of college not knowing what the job outlook may be in the future. For teens and children, this time may also look very uncertain and scary because the world around them is changing. All of these feelings are valid, and it’s okay to be nervous about the future.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a whole section on their website dedicated to dealing with the stress that you may be feeling during this trying time. Some of the recommendations that they list would include taking breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories, taking care of your body, making time to unwind or connecting with others.

“Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger,” the CDC webpage said.

A way to help cope with feeling as though the world is being flipped upside down is to try and make a new schedule. Things like regulating a sleep schedule, having a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, meditating, etc. Try switching the activities being done as well, doing the same things every day will lead to someone feeling as though they are stuck in a never-ending loop. Activities that could be done would include crafts, gardening, cleaning, painting, knitting or learning something, like a new language. While this time may seem very stressful and boring, the best can be made out of this situation by doing things that many never thought they would have time to do.

Communication is also a good way to cope with what’s happening in the world some ways would be by calling friends, family, etc. Whether it’s calling, video chatting or even sending a letter, reaching out to others can help with handling the emotions that many are feeling right now.