This past year has been a tough one for a lot of people. All across the world, people are battling a devastating pandemic. This once-in-a-century event brings so many unique challenges to our mental health and it’s completely understandable why so many people have been struggling. Nobody was prepared for an event like this, that’s why, here at the Counseling and Resource Center of Dearborn, we’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help grow your pandemic coping skills.
Mental Health During a Pandemic
We’re mere days away from the end of 2020 and, with the new vaccines starting to roll out around the country, you’ve just about made it! That being said, this hasn’t been an easy year for most people. According to the CDC, over 40% of adults in America reported struggling with their mental health during this pandemic.
Some of the Stressors Affecting People During the Pandemic Include:
- Battling and Recovering from an Illness
- Loss of a Family Member or Loved One
- Caring for a Sick Family Member
- Reduced Hours at Work or Losing a Job
- Increased Hours and Stress at Work, Especially for Essential and Frontline Workers
- Existing Mental Health Struggles
- Financial Stress
- New or Increased Substance Use
- Social Isolation and Loneliness
Top 5 Pandemic Coping Skills
Media and Social Media Detox
One of the biggest challenges for a lot of people throughout the pandemic has been social media and the media in general. Alarmist headline, politically-charged social media debates, and aggressive advertisements online have only exacerbated the mental health struggles throughout this tough year. A great way to give yourself a mental health boost is with a detox from news media and social media.
It’s important to remember that your detox will look different than other people’s detoxes. Don’t do anything that you’re not comfortable with. If you need to start in smaller increments, like cutting back a few hours a week, that’s completely fine. Start small and work towards your goal. Separating yourself from toxic exchanges and anxiety-inducing headlines online will free up your day to do and explore things that bring you joy.
Try to Maintain a Routine
Another struggle that people are going through during the pandemic is an outright upheaval of schedules and routines. Many people have had to switch to remote working or hybrid schedules, while many others have had their hours at work cut or have been laid off altogether. This means that many people suddenly lost their structure. One of the best pandemic coping tips we can suggest is to try to maintain a routine.
Not only have routines been proven to lower stress, but they can also help boost productivity and focus. The main thing to remember when it comes to creating and maintaining a routine, try to focus on what you can control. Make a list to get started, scheduling out chunks of your day. This helps you focus on the things that are important to you, allowing you to stay productive throughout the day. Don’t forget to give yourself breaks throughout the day too. You deserve to rest.
Utilize Grounding Techniques for Anxiety
For many people, anxiety has become overwhelming this year. Anyone who was suffering from anxiety before 2020 are sure to be struggling even more this year. Finding the right grounding techniques for you, and tucking them into your mental health toolbelt, could help you in managing your anxiety.
One of the most common grounding techniques is sometimes called the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 method. Start by finding five things that you can see, then four things you can hear, three things you can smell, two things you can touch, and one thing you can taste. You can change up which order you want to go in, but the main goal is to redirect your attention. Remember to focus on your breathing and be patient with yourself.
Focus on Kindness to Yourself and to Others Around You
Next, don’t forget to be kind to yourself and those around you. This year has been a dark one for a lot of people. Injecting a dose of kindness into the world can have a surprisingly big impact. That’s why one of the best pandemic coping skills is to be kind to yourself and others.
Try to focus on the good things you do throughout the day. Whether that be finishing a tough project, making a really good dinner, or just getting out of bed in the morning, celebrate your accomplishments. This also goes for other people around you. Thank the person at the grocery store, tip your delivery driver, and tell your people you love them. These little acts of kindness can make big ripples throughout their days, helping spread just a little bit of happiness.
Reach Out, You’re Not Alone
Finally, and maybe most importantly, reach out if you need to. When things get too tough and you feel like your mental health struggles have started to really impact your everyday life, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Reach out to your network, your family, or even a professional. The kind and supportive therapists here at the Counseling and Resource Center of Dearborn dedicate themselves to helping people every day. With passionate, empathetic support, we aim to help you manage your mental health.
Counseling and Resource Center of Dearborn is Here for You
2020 hasn’t been an easy year. With the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on mental health, working on these pandemic coping skills could have an incredibly positive effect. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Counseling and Resource Center of Dearborn. We’re here to help.
Call us at (313) 359-1977 or contact us here to get started today. Follow our blog for the latest tips and tricks for mental health wellness and check us out on Facebook for our latest news and updates.