If someone has already been struggling with mental health issues such as depression, these problems may increase during the COVID-19 outbreak. Struggles with income will take a huge toll on the stress levels within the family. Language barriers will also cause stress. There have been perceived stigmas surrounding who is more likely to be susceptible to the disease. Our country already has situations with there being prejudice or racism within our communities. Now we have more racism and prejudice when there are stigmas around the disabled, certain races and ethnicities, and certain ages are considered to be more at risk and therefore these groups are experiencing distress.
Some people who need help with their daily living begin to suffer from shame from needing all that help from their loved ones. Isolated individuals are struggling with loneliness. There is an entire group of people that were waiting to have procedures done whether it was a small procedure or a life-altering procedure, these procedures have been put off with no reschedules date in the site because the hospital is consumed with Covid-19 patients.
Forms of Support for Children
According to the CDC, it is important to set a good example. Make sure that you are eating, sleeping, exercising, and taking enough brakes. Take time to have conversations with the kids in regards to any topic all. Making this break in the schedule to connect with the child grounds them. Children have never spent this much time at home nor have they seen the world in such a global state of fear. Try to implement habits of playtime, outside time (if there is a yard or area allowed), eating times, screen times, and schoolwork time. This allows for the child to change the activity their partaking in and destressing.
Depending on the age of the child try to limit the amount of news that they hear as they may misinterpret and possibly become anxious. Invite the child to join in the activities you use to help with anxiety-like yoga or walks. Remind the child that it is normal to be upset and or worried and reassure them that they are okay and safe. With older children such as teenagers that already can ask questions in regards to the virus try to be as honest as possible and keep them well informed in regards to all that they can do to be safe and protected and also how they can be part of helping within the family unit as you adapt to a new form of living.
Signs of Stress During COVID-19
If you see that you or your loved one are having any symptoms that will be listed here it is important to take action in relieving the stress that caused these symptoms. This opportunity to cope with the pandemic as a family and community will, in turn, make these relationships stronger. If you or someone you love begins to use or increases their use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco take some time to implement stretches or card games to distract from those habits.
If there is someone who already has mental health conditions and these seem to get worse or come back after being resolved to reach out to the doctor or therapist that was seeing this patient make sure the medications assigned are being properly administered. For people with chronic health issues such as diabetes have video doctor visits to make sure the patient is healthy. If difficulty with concentration or sleep happens try to find a time to meditate intentionally.
Staying connected during these times is crucial to cope with the mental health of anyone in the family or community and especially for those that live alone. Create a schedule of when you can talk to other family members and friends and make time to text, call, email, and even write those people that you care about. This could be a good time to reconnect with people that you might not have had time to reach before. The human connection will produce relief and happiness.