MY WORD: Taking care of mental health during COVID-19 | Letters To Editor
Sheranda Gunn-Nolan When it comes to protecting ourselves during the current COVID-19 pandemic, it can…
When it comes to protecting ourselves during the current COVID-19 pandemic, it can be easy to focus exclusively on physical health – making sure we are following CDC guidelines, practicing social distancing and doing everything we can to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe and healthy. All those things are very important. But there is another important facet of our health that we should not ignore during this time – our mental health. Today, as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times, it is more essential than ever.
Our mental health has a big influence on our overall health and well-being. Not only does it affect how productive we are at work, how we make decisions and how we cope with stress, but it can also affect our physical health. Take stress for example. Stress can have a direct impact on our immune system, and when we are not able to cope with stress adequately, it can compromise our body’s ability to fight off illness.
Mental health issues are very common, affecting millions of Americans each year. During difficult times like we are currently experiencing in our community and around the world, many of us are faced with unforeseen physical, social and economic challenges that can elevate stress, depression and other mental health issues and even have an impact in those who normally are not affected by these conditions. The bottom line? If you are suffering, you are not alone. The good news is that there are some things you can do to help alleviate stress and boost your mental health – not just during the challenges we are facing today, but in all situations: