Nashville, TN

Dealing with pandemic-related stress

Dex Walker

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NASHVILLE, TN — As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it has been impacting lives on a global scale for more than a year. The isolation and stress have been taking a toll on everyone’s mental health across all age groups.

To protect self and others, routines and rituals have like school, work, worship, gathering were heavily modified. However, being socially isolated is not the nature of human beings.

“We are social beings and not being able to connect with other people can lead to feelings of loneliness and despair,” said Dr. Amy Price-Neff, a primary care and integrative medicine specialist

Dr. Price-Neff’s colleague, Nurse Practitioner Lauren Clanton also added that patients who do have a mental illness history start having issues with their mental health ranging from mild to moderate and severe.

As there is an increase in mental illness during the pandemic, they recommend some self-care tips, starting with having a work-life balance. Knowing when to start working and when to end is important, so it's better to put on some time limit reminders. Avoid sitting for too long, take a little break in between, and stretch for a bit.

The next thing you can do is by praying or meditating to calm the thoughts. Limit the intake of news can also help reducing stress. Eating a healthy, balanced meal and drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. Getting enough rest is also important to keep the body healthy.

You can also talk to healthcare professionals and seek help when needed. Individuals can also reconnect with others through phone calls, social media, or video calls. It is important to have routine doctor visits and annual checkups. At the same time, don’t forget to wear your masks, maintain social distancing, wash your hands often, and take the COVID-19 vaccine if possible.

Even though the pandemic is still going to take some more time, but eventually, we will be able to get through this. “Maintaining hope is also one of the best things we can do to get through this,” said Clanton.

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