The COVID-19 pandemic has had a different effect on everyone, some more deeply than others. The past year has brought on countless changes to what our lives look like, and as our world gradually trickles back to a sense of ‘normalcy,’ it can be overwhelming on our mental health.

You may still be grieving the loss of loved ones. You may still be experiencing stress, depression, anxiety, fear, and loneliness. You may have increased your use of alcohol and drugs to cope with these stressors. Though the lockdown has come to halt, we want to encourage you to continue to stay in tune with your mental health, recognize the importance of practicing self-care, and seek help when you need it.

Take Care of Your Mind

A healthy mindset is essential for managing your mental health. Creating a consistent self-care routine is key to achieving a sense of control and peace as our world shifts back to a pace that we may not be used to. Try to stick to a regular bedtime, meal, and work schedule, in order to keep your mind at ease. Be easy on yourself and remember that you are not alone in trying to figure out what your new ‘normal’ is.

Take Care of Your Body

Your overall wellness is dependent on both your mental health and your physical health. As you’re creating a self-care routine that works for you, it’s important to include habits that benefit your body. Regular physical activity, fresh air, and keeping a well-balanced diet can help to reduce anxiety and boost your mood. Avoid using tobacco, alcohol, and drugs as coping mechanisms. Find a way to relax and recharge that works for your – it’s important to rest regularly.

Take Care of Your Connections

Being cut off from strong social connections can have a serious impact on your mental health. Connecting with friends and loved ones can ease stress, anxiety, and depression levels, and provide us with comfort, security, and joy. If you’re not comfortable connecting with others in person, it’s crucial to utilize your phone and social media to keep in touch and fill your social cup to prevent isolation.

Reach Out for Help

Asking for help can be the hardest, yet most important step in taking care of your mental health. At Zumbro Valley Health Center, we want to remind you that it’s okay to not be okay and we are here to help with whatever you may need. To schedule an appointment or learn more, please call 507-289-2089.

Though the rules, regulations, and restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic are disappearing, it’s okay if your feelings and anxiety are not. Create and maintain a healthy, balanced self-care routine that works for you, be patient with yourself, and ask for help when you need it.