Caring for Our Mental Health and Well-Being as the Pandemic Improves
COVID-19 cases might be on the decline, but you might still feel the way you did when medical centers were full of COVID-19 patients and lockdowns were in high gear.
Health care workers certainly bore the brunt of the pandemic, and their efforts have been lauded across the globe. But that doesn’t mean those in other professions as well as stay at home parents and others haven’t felt extra stress and anxiety.
Many of us faced different challenges and changing work environments and issues that will continue into the future. Many worked extraordinarily long hours; your skills were pushed to the limit; and you experienced things you have never experienced before—both professionally and personally.
As the community moves closer to pre-pandemic routines and practices, many of you may still be feeling the emotional impacts of the pandemic. Recent Kaiser Foundation studies showed that health care workers in particular experienced unprecedented levels of:
- Feeling of being overwhelmed
Lasting Health Effects
Importantly, the Kaiser Foundation found that the general public saw a four-fold increase in depression and anxiety symptoms. There is little doubt that nearly all of us have experienced heightened levels of these feelings over the past couple of years. But if these feelings are allowed to fester, we could be setting ourselves up for some long term health problems, such as:
- Sleep disturbances
- Stomach aches
- Increased dependency on alcohol or drugs
It is important that we take time to reflect on the impact of the past two years—emotionally, physically and mentally. We also need to check in on those around us to ensure they are doing OK and connect them to resources as needed. It is OK to ask for help; in order to care for others you must first care for yourself.
Bryan Health cares about you and your emotional and mental well-being. We offer many resources to ensure your needs are being met. We encourage you to take a free, confidential, behavioral health screening at screening.mentalhealthscreening.org/bryanhealth and use the various resources available here.