For the past several months, we all have been living under uncertain terms and conditions. Some of us have been experiencing difficulties with managing stress, sadness, and feelings of loneliness. Some of us have even experienced trauma such as loss, an increase in domestic violence, or addiction in the home.
The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences reported that as of April, nearly half of the people in the US had been affected by COVID-19. They further stated that there has been more than a 30% increase in prescriptions for anxiety and about a 19% increase in antidepressant prescriptions. To add, substance abuse and mental health emergency hotlines have seen more than a 1000% increase.
Youth are experiencing just as much if not more struggles with mental health than adults. An article written by Children’s Minnesota made some interesting claims suggesting that social isolation can cause feelings of anxiety, sadness, and depression in young people. They further suggested that the deaths, police brutality, and unrest within the African American community has also taken a toll on youth, particularly teens of color. Our youth, White and African Americans, are experiencing a higher rate of suicide with a greater rise in young African Americans.
Coping with Covid and the civil unrest throughout the country is and will not be an easy task. Although there are a ton of things that can help, I can only list a few suggestions. Take a look, apply what fits your lifestyle, and work on controlling what you can while letting go of what you can’t.
***Create and maintain a daily routine that includes sleep, eating healthy (reducing sugar and caffeine intake), physical activity, and spiritual enhancement
***Decrease your activity on social media and your conversations regarding things that increase anxiety or negative emotions
***Increase your communication with positive people, decrease your communication with negative people – including family and friends
***If you reside with a family, be sure to make time for yourself – unapologetically
***Find a few minutes at least twice a day to meditate, deep breath, or practice mindfulness techniques
I also suggest Googling some additional ideas. YouTube has a ton of ideas, movies, and other activities that may help with reducing and managing your mental health. If all else fails, find a professional who can assist you and/or anyone you know who may need assistance.
It takes a village…