Help Yourself: A Self-Care Reminder
We’ve been living under the weight of a pandemic for a full year. Like a blanket over our world, everyone has felt its heaviness. Some of us are struggling to lift away that weight.
The stress, fear, and anxiety caused by COVID-19 continues to leave many feeling hopeless and overwhelmed. Clinical depression has increased. The CDC reported 40 percent of U.S. adults were struggling with mental health or substance abuse only a few months into the pandemic (in June 2020). Those with preexisting mental health issues have experienced an exacerbation of symptoms. If you or a loved one are struggling, don’t wait to get help. Reach out for support now.
Early in the pandemic, we were bombarded with suggestions for coping. Exhausting months have passed, and we could use some reminders. The cumulative effect of pandemic stress is being felt. Keep the faith and follow these tips.
Connect with People—Often
Thanks to technology, staying in touch has never been easier. Schedule regular video visits with friends and family. Send frequent text messages, simply to check in and show you care. Make a traditional voice call. Emerging studies show this back-to-basics, casual approach sometimes can be more helpful than video chats.
Talk with trusted confidants about your latest covid-19 worries. Although you may not gain solutions (decision paralysis is another pandemic side effect), it helps to know others have similar thoughts and emotions.
Being among nature, even in a cityscape with a view of green space and the immense sky, can be instantly calming. Studies published by the American Psychological Association share several theories on the uplifting benefits of nature. Regardless of the reason, a dash outside often quickly refreshes mood. Looking for a new outdoor location? Try our Pottstown Area Outdoor Activity Finder.
Can’t get outside? A study published in the journal Environment and Behavior proved merely looking at images of trees reduced stress.
Do the Usual Healthy Stuff—But Go Harder
Your immune system works relentlessly. Make it pandemic-strong. Fuel up with a healthy diet, plenty of sleep, and regular exercise. Often associated with physical health, we continue to learn how these three aspects profoundly impact our mental state as well. Make that impact a positive one that produces feel-good hormones. Our mind needs all the love it can get!
Sleep: Aim for at least seven quality hours nightly for adults; more for children.
Exercise: Aim for 30 minutes daily.
Get to the Great Outdoors. Walk around your apartment. Take the stairs. Do some stretches, leg lifts, and squats while watching shows. (With all that pandemic binging, you can really get into shape!)
Check out these nearby workout locations:
Pottstown Individual Wellness Resources for exercise, recreation and financial wellness.
Pottstown Area Outdoors for outdoor recreation locations.
Food: Feast on the happy-helpers, including salmon, tuna, berries, spinach, and beans. Lean proteins and fiber-rich foods are important in keeping blood sugar stabilized, which also helps mood. Don’t forget a little chocolate! (Just thinking about it brings a smile.)
If the pandemic has left you in need, please take advantage of our community’s food insecurity resources
PAHWF Supports You
Sometimes, lingering anxiety, anger, and sadness is more than a bad mood. The pandemic has resulted in severe tragedies. A loss of a loved one, unemployment, or financial insecurity (see Economic Stability) requires more help than a Zoom call or sitcom can bring.
Connecting with those around can start with a simple smile. Research shows that even when you don’t feel like it, smiling elevates your mood and can have long-term physical and mental health benefits. Join the Foundation in connecting with a smile!
If you or a loved one are suffering, Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation provides a wealth of help. Everyone is struggling through these pandemic times. However, if life seems unbearable and problems feel overwhelming, PAHWF can connect you to the appropriate valuable resources.
Visit our COVID-19 Crisis Resources page for myriad resources.
We researched mental health resources available to our community for your convenient reference. There is no shame in needing help. Be your own hero.
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-452-4189. Do not allow feelings of despair or grief go untreated. There is help. There is always hope.