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The Mental Trauma of COVID and 6 Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself

According to the Washington Post, “Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. A federal emergency hotline for people in emotional distress registered a more than 1,000 percent increase in April compared with the same time last year. Last month, roughly 20,000 people texted that hotline, run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.”
It’s terrifying to realize a pandemic such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading around the world. The different stages of a pandemic can provide panic and anxiety. No one knows just how widespread or deadly the novel coronavirus will end up being.
Feelings of fear, anxiety, sadness, and uncertainty are normal emotions during a difficult situation such as the world is currently experiencing. But being proactive about your mental health can help to keep your mind and body healthy. In the following information, we have detailed information on ways to protect yourself.
One of the first steps you can take is to recognize the things you can control. Practicing self-care such as seeking professional help from a licensed mental health professional and finding ways to manage stress. Your means of coping with stress and anxiety goes a long way in managing your mental health. Here are some ways to help you ease the anxiety surrounding COVID-19.

Practice Good Self-Care
Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in some form of exercise are always good steps to helping you stay as physically and psychologically healthy as possible during stressful times.
Good self-care also keeps your immune system healthy which means eating well, sleeping well, and managing stress.

Peace Of Mind
Practice recommendations from the Centers For Disease Control, The World Health Organization, and other excerpts to curtail transmission of Covid include wearing a mask when going out, keeping at least a 6-foot distance from others, and washing your hands regularly.
If you live in an area where the Covid infection rates are very high try to stay home as much as possible, and when do you go out, practice the methods of safety detailed above. There are always steps you can take to decrease risk. Be aware that steps like washing your hands, wearing a mask, and keeping social distance remind you to focus on the things you can control.
Knowing you are doing everything possible to keep yourself and your family safe gives a lot of peace of mind.

Professional Help
If your mental health is being affected by the stress and anxiety of COVID-19 then you may need to seek the help of a mental health professional. A licensed mental health professional can help you manage stress while helping you to make the best decisions for you and your family. The good news is thousands of therapists are now using remote methods, such as video conferencing, so you can talk to someone right from home.
High anxiety and stress can cause some people to adopt unproven or unsafe prevention methods. Some of these methods can be harmful to yourself and others. It’s important to make sure any actions you take are truly beneficial.

Develop An Action Plan
Be aware that increased depression and anxiety are probably going to occur. So, plan for it. When you start to feel sad, overwhelmed, frustrated or anxious talk with someone, write about it, just get it out, do not let it fester inside of you. Be prepared and make a plan. Who will I talk to? Keep a notebook handy for journaling.
Another important issue is that children often adopt the coping strategies they observe in their parents. Parents who show anxiety and stress during a pandemic may end up projecting the anxiety right along to their loved ones.

Read News From Trustworthy Sources And Limit Media Consumption
Avoid media outlets that provoke stress or focus on issues that can’t be controlled. Instead, turn to sources that give reliable information. One reputable source is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They provide helpful tips to keep you and your family safe during these unprecedented times.
Watching media stories that talk about how fast an illness is spreading, or the death toll will increase stress and anxiety. Limit your media consumption to a certain time frame or a certain number of stories.
It is helpful to stay informed, but you shouldn’t allow yourself to be bombarded with anxiety-provoking news all day. The most important actions are to keep you and your loved ones properly informed, calm, and healthy as possible.

The Bottom Line
Remember one thing, humans are strong, we will get through this, it is not forever and most important do not project what has not yet happened. If you are healthy and safe, don’t worry about what might happen, stay in the moment, and enjoy the present.

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