Mental Health Amid COVID-19

Katherine Portillo, Writer

As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to increase we start to see a decline in mental health as well. This could be brought upon by many things such as not being able to leave the house, the nerves of this disease getting closer to you, and PTSD brought on from this pandemic. As the pandemic continues, the US is starting to go into a state of quarantine.

 

On Friday, March 27th, the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom alerted all Californians that it is important no one leaves their house until at least April 19th. You may only leave your house for essential errands. Though this is a very important step during times of crisis, it may also seem to “box in” those who are struggling with mental health-related disorders.

 

Many mental health experts are constantly telling their patients that an important coping mechanism is going outside. The reason for this being, you are creating mindfulness in yourself or creating a more open mind. Having mindfulness is a very crucial step when trying to assist depression.

 

Though, many government officials are not stating it as they should be, going for a walk, exercising, and being outside in general is not only allowed but is encouraged during these times. A news article written by Dr. Rock Positano from the New York Post talks about why going for a walk during COVID-19 is essential. “Walking will positively affect your general health, including improving blood pressure, staving off diabetes and regulating blood sugar, losing weight, reducing stress, and, of course, maintaining your mental health.”

 

Because the cases in the US are not declining, the anxiety and stress of being diagnosed with this virus increases. When dealing with these mental health disorders it helps to look at the statistics. Currently, there are 116,448 cases in the United States, there are 1,943 deaths, and over 3,224 people have recovered (as of this time of writing). These stats do not include those who do have the virus but are asymptomatic. 

 

Along with stats, it is also important to focus on the things that can be controlled such as: washing your hands constantly for more than 20 seconds each time, avoiding touching your face, and remembering social distance (if going out, keep 6 feet apart from anyone around you). As well as these precautions, a few other coping mechanisms of anxiety in general are writing, drawing, and practicing meditation. This helps get your mind off your focus of anxiety, relieving it for a while, it is also a good way of putting your feelings down on paper.

 

Those suffering from PTSD may have a bigger stress reaction to this pandemic. A CNBC article talks about how the coronavirus pandemic could inflict long-lasting emotional trauma on an unprecedented global scale along with leaving millions having to fight mental health disorders. 

Coping with PTSD at a time like this is difficult but in no way impossible. Many specialists recommend doing as many everyday things you can during quarantine like, having a morning cup of coffee, going outside, and even calling a friend, especially when needing to talk about your mental state. 

 

Dealing with mental health issues is difficult, let alone dealing with them at a time of worldwide crisis like many are doing amid the breakout of COVID-19. There are many coping mechanisms that can be taken and used in your everyday life if you are dealing with any sort of mental health issue.