We have all been affected in some way shape or form by Covid-19. However, some of us have felt the effects on a mental level more than others in a variety of ways. Whether you are suffering from Long Covid and the effects of it are really getting to you, you’ve lost a loved one to the virus making you feel sad or the fear and anxiety or returning to a world forever changed. There are many mental challenges which many of us will experience in some way shape or form.
How can you overcome or live with the mental struggle that Covid-19 has brought upon you? What are the causes and the fallout of the common mental challenges brought to prominence by Covid-19?
Dealing with the loss of a loved one
Covid-19 has brought devastating loss for lots of us in ways that don’t need explaining, and grief is the natural effect of that. It can be hard to overcome the effects of grief, and although there is always a period which can be difficult to get past, there are a few steps you should consider taking when dealing with the effects of grief and loss.
The first step is to acknowledge these feelings. Realise that what you are feeling is grief and accept that it is natural and will take time to get over. The second step is to maintain or create connections with the other important people or things in your life. Take part in group activities and stay connected with others. One way of doing this effectively with grief can be creating groups with people who all had connections to the person/people who have lost their lives. This way, you can grieve together and share memories in a positive fashion that will help you eventually move on.
Feeling isolated and alone
Isolation. A word which can keep people apart for so long, and we hope that we’ve seen the last of it. Isolation can and has been a main contributor to loneliness, with many restrictions keeping people from seeing the people they love, making them feel disconnected from everyone. The important thing to know is that no one is alone, including you.
Coping with it can be tricky, and although it sounds obvious, reaching out to others is the best way to deal with the problem. Fortunately, with modern technology, staying in touch with those closest to you emotionally has never been easier. Don’t hesitate to speak to your family and friends with a video call to relieve that lonely feeling.
The sense of depression
Depression can be sparked by a manner of different reasons, and can also be simply down to an imbalance within the body. Regardless, the amount of control which those with depression have had on their mental health through lockdown has loosened as it has been made difficult to receive support in person.
What the relaxing of the restrictions allows here is communication with others. Be open with people, talk about what is concerning you. Speak about what you are thinking and feeling, giving those closest to you a clear image of what is going on in your head, and allow them to support you in the best way they can, being there for you.
Return to normality anxiety
It is completely normal to be concerned about your health, and although we have now come out of lockdown, it would be understandable to feel anxious returning out into the public. That fear of catching the virus consistently looms as you try to continue with life as normal hygiene anxiety has become more prominent than ever, but there are also other reasons to be anxious when stepping into a much-changed world. Adapting to change can also be scary. Anxiety itself comes in many forms and affects people differently, but how do you deal with it?
Simple, take things at your own pace. Just because everyone else is ready to jumbo straight back into the world as if nothing has happened, it doesn’t mean that you are. Take it one step at a time. Go to an outdoor event first, then try going to the cinema. Whatever you feel comfortable with is more often than not the right ebay to go. Don’t feel pressured into doing anything or going to any events that you are not comfortable with yet.
If anxiety symptoms such as feeling tense and having panic attacks persist, then seeking specific medical advice is advised, but others can be balanced naturally by taking it one step at a time.
The ever growing stress
Many people were unable to work during the heaviest lockdown periods, whether that was through governmentally funded furlough or simply being let go by their companies, and you may very well be one of these victims. With the return to normality, many have returned to work or even started new ones, which can always be a stressful process.
Coping with stress can be difficult, depending on the pressures that are placed upon you, but it can be dangerous if not acknowledged and dealt with in some way. Take breaks where you can. Whether this is from work or even news outlets talking about the pandemic which may impose stress on you without you knowing it.
Make time to unwind and relax, relieving the stress naturally. Socialise informally and in the ways that relax you by connecting with others. Perhaps most importantly, take care of your body too. Don’t eat/drink excessively and maintain a healthy lifestyle getting plenty of sleep and regular exercise. Don’t allow your mental wellbeing to affect your physical health.
How you can help others
The thing with mental health is that a lot of people struggle with it. Being mindful of others during your struggles is crucial to maintaining strong relationships with those close to you. Help them help you, they may even be going through the same things as you. Covid has affected everyone, so if your situation has arisen due to Covid-19, then you are certainly not alone in this regard.
Taking care of yourself can also help you take care of others more effectively. If you need more help and support then please contact us at Dorset Private GP.