If you suspect that you or someone you know might be suffering with mental health problems, read these warning signs from mentalhealth.gov and encourage them to reach out for help.
• Having low or no energy
• Unexplained aches and pains
• Feeling helpless or hopeless
• Smoking or drinking more than usual
• Feeling confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
• Arguing with family and friends
• Severe mood swings
• Having persistent thoughts or memories you cannot get out of your head
• Inability to perform typical daily tasks
• Pulling away from others
• Eating and sleeping more or less than usual
1. Take a Break from the News
Keeping informed on the latest world happenings is not a bad thing. However, too much news consumption could leave you feeling on edge, stressed, or helpless. Turn the channel or take a break from reading your favorite news sources.
2. Take Care of Yourself
Avoid using alcohol or smoking to cope. Make sure you are getting adequate sleep. Find joyful ways to move your body, such as going on a walk. Give yourself plenty of nourishment. This might be an apple some days and chocolate chip cookies on others!
3. Make Time to Unwind
It is okay to rest and be unproductive. Binge your favorite Netflix series or get lost in a new book. Do the activities that make your heart happy! Unwinding could also include daily stretching and breathing exercises.
4. Connect with Others
Don’t let loneliness fester. Facetime a friend. Write a letter to a loved one. Drop off baked goods on someone’s porch. Have a socially distant visit outdoors!
5. Limit Social Media Consumption
We all love keeping up with our Facebook friends and businesses. But, if you find yourself feeling anxious after mindlessly scrolling for hours on end, it could be a good idea to set limits on your screen time. Most smartphones have options for this in settings.
The SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) National Helpline is open 24/7, is free, and confidential. If you or someone you know needs help now, call 1-800-662-4357. The service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other resources.
Do the best you can to take care of yourself and those around you, not just during COVID-19 or Mental Health Awareness Month, but always!