The Covid-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the mental health of many. Social distancing and quarantining to reduce the spread of the disease has put a hold on our ability to do the things we love and connect with the people around us. Social isolation and loneliness, especially for prolonged periods of time, are difficult for anybody, but especially for people who struggle with their mental health. Activities in our day to day lives are a helpful distraction from being anxious and give people something to look forward to. Covid-19 has taken these helpful distractions away. Moreover- many business owners are struggling to maintain their livelihood in the midst of a global pandemic, perpetuating these feelings of distress and anxiety within our communities.
As a result of Covid-19, mental illnesses within our society have been exacerbated and a lot of people are struggling. From a study conducted by KFF in July, 53% of adults in the US feel their mental health has been negatively impacted from the stress of Covid-19. KFF also notes that in March this rate was reported at 32%, reflecting a worrisome increase in mental health issues amongst the United State’s population. Psychiatry Advisor asserts that general public surveys link Covid-19 to higher rates of depression, anxiety, and stress, which in result can lead to other destructive behaviors such as substance use disorders or gambling.
The bottom line is that we need to be supportive of our peers and family more now than ever before. It is clear that times are tough for many as a result of Covid-19, so, how can we be supportive of our friends and families when we can’t physically be there for them?
Some of the suggestions made by the CDC are first, to take breaks from watching, reading, and listening to news stories. Hyper-fixating on the looming pandemic constantly can be mentally exhausting and overwhelming. KFF also notes that as a result of isolation, people have been on social media platforms more, which has also played a part in increased rates of anxiety and depression. It is so important to unplug from the media to take time to focus on the things that you can control. If we are constantly keeping up with the pandemic, we don’t give ourselves the time and space to recover from the stress of the pandemic.
The CDC also emphasizes the importance of taking care of your body. Try to go for a run, eat healthfully, and get plenty of sleep. These simple tasks can make a big difference in your day to day life. Be intentional about taking care of yourself, your physical health plays into your mental wellbeing and can help to overall alleviate mental health conditions.
Find new ways to connect with your friends and family members. We are so lucky to live in a time period where we can connect with others through technology. This could mean having planned nights each week where you talk with one of your friends, making a playlist for your friend, sending a silly video to somebody to make them laugh, or just calling to check in with your friends to make sure they’re okay. While these virtual interactions don’t compensate for going out and doing fun things with your friends, they do help to alleviate feelings of loneliness that Covid-19 has created in all of our lives.
Bearing in mind the fact that Covid-19 has had such a substantial impact on our societies mental health, our USA made weighted blankets may be a helpful solution to many. The deep pressure stimulation from weighted blankets can help to lessen the symptoms of stress, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Deep pressure stimulation mimics the feeling of receiving a hug, which is why it is calming for many people. Weighted blankets help to lower Cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone, while increasing your Serotonin levels, which is the hormone that makes you happy. Right now, in the midst of a pandemic, it is so important to take care of yourself mentally and physically and one of our weighted blankets can help to do just that.