BLOGS from St. Anthony
We're all feeling the mental toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s completely normal to feel anxious, isolated, or overwhelmed with work or family responsibilities. However, you are not alone. In fact, four in ten adults in the United States are currently reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression, a percentage up from 1 in 10 before the COVID-19 pandemic. Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, NAMI joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Take the time this month to check in on yourself and your loved ones.
With vaccines available and restrictions easing, life is getting closer to returning to normal. However, some people are still experiencing unexpected emotions. Each illness has its symptoms, but common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include the following:
- Excessive worrying or fear
- Feeling excessively sad or low
- Trouble concentrating and learning
- Extended feelings of annoyance or anger
- Steering clear of friends and social events
- Difficulties relating to other people
- Feeling tired and lacking energy
- Changes in eating habits— an increased appetite or lack of appetite
- Difficulty handling everyday problems, activities, and stress
- Overuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
- Suicidal thoughts
Everyday Mental Health Tips
While there is no substitution for talking to a licensed mental health professional, there are simple ways to improve our outlook. The following list includes a few small but impactful ways to improve your mental health every day:
Eat Healthy and Get Enough Sleep
What we eat affects the way we interact and feel. Enough sleep will help us feel refreshed and confident to take on daily challenges.
Make yourself a priority. Schedule a haircut, visit a nail salon, go for a walk, or have lunch with a friend.
Find Meaningful Activities
Whether through painting, working on a project, taking an exercise class, or walking your dog, spending quality time by yourself or with loved ones makes you feel good.
Establish a "no social media" zone for at least part of your day. Eliminate Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). Disconnect from the constant stream of DMs, texts, and emails.
There’s nothing like helping others to make us feel part of the community. Enriching and expanding our life through community service makes us feel happier and connected. Churches, schools, or nonprofits are some places to start.
Seek help from a licensed mental health professional when and if you need it. Seeking help on how to improve our mental health is a sign of strength — not a weakness. Just as it requires ongoing thought and effort to maintain physical health, it is the same with our mental health.
St. Anthony Regional Hospital is inspired by faith and committed to excellence. We are dedicated to improving the health of the people we serve. We will lead in providing high-quality, high-value healthcare services responsive to the needs of our patients and the region. Visit us on Facebook.
- mental health