The last several months have been challenging in many ways. Your routines have probably changed. You may have concerns about your health and the safety of those you love. You may be afraid of community violence. Widespread uncertainty continues to cause disruption. No doubt these stressors have affected your mental health and that of those around you. Mental health symptoms related to a disaster are the worst 6-9 months post-impact. This is the amount of time it takes our brains to adjust to what has happened. With the onset of COVID-19 in February, we are now in the 6-9 month window. Impact is compounded by weather changes, returning to school, and upcoming holidays. Monitoring and attending to our mental health is more important now than ever. Mental health affects our well-being, daily functioning, the way we relate to others, and our satisfaction with life. A few things to keep in mind:
What you are experiencing is normal and you are not alone. Physical, mental, and emotional signs of disruption are to be expected. Physical signs include fatigue and changes in sleep and appetite. Mental and emotional signs include unpredictable mood, irritability, difficulty concentrating, worry, and anxiety.
Notice changes in yourself and seek support.
Focus on what you can control. Creating routines and making time for yourself are small ways to reduce uncertainty.
Support is available. Consider the resources listed below. Figure out what works best for you. Take advantage of things that help you feel safe and cared for.
Check out this article via Medium: Your ‘Surge Capacity’ is Depleted – It’s Why You Feel Awful.
- Coping with Distressing Situations is a short webinar that explores signs of distress and provides self-care tips.
- Washington Listens Line: Free phone support for stress related to COVID-19. Call (833) 681-0211.
- Washington mental health and well-being helplines and resources.