By Alena Walrath, PTA
COVID-19 has changed our world. We’re all adjusting to a new normal for now, but we each have a different set of challenges. To get through this pandemic we need to be intentional about self-care, find ways to connect with those around us, and learn more about how to help ourselves and others.
Now more than ever, it is important to take care of your mental health. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise. It is remarkable how much better you can feel by making self-care a priority. Make time to foster relationships in times of isolation. Even if you can’t be present in person, pick up the phone, use video chat, or send an email. This may take a little creativity, but technology allows us to connect in many ways that were not previously possible.
Is there anyone you know who could use a friend or someone to talk to? Ask friends, family, and acquaintances how they are doing. Be there to listen. Go out of your way to be kind and friendly. You never know what type of day the other person is having, and a little positivity can go a long way.
Provide resources to others and educate yourself about mental illness. Know when to refer out for help and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There is a stigma surrounding mental health that we need to erase. Mental illness is a lot more common than many people realize. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “1 in 5 Adults in America experience mental illness each year.” Take the time to learn about different types of mental illness, and make sure you know the facts so you can help prevent a mental health emergency.
September is suicide awareness month. While suicide is a subject that is difficult to talk about for many of us, there are steps you can take to help prevent suicide. One of those steps is talking about it. The truth is that the overwhelming majority of people who think about suicide do not go through with it or recover. You can be part of the solution.
For more information and to become an advocate for suicide prevention, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.