How are mental health and COVID-19 related? During social distancing, the lack of human interaction can affect our mental health and potentially cause symptoms of depression or anxiety. Social distancing can be particularly difficult if you live alone. Let’s explore how social distancing can impact your mental health and how you can stay connected to maintain your health while social distancing.
How Isolation Impacts Mental Health
Humans are social creatures, and living in isolation for an extended period of time can negatively impact our mental and physical health. In fact, isolation over just a few hours can lead to increased anxiety and a warped perception of time.
In addition to the mental and physical challenges of social distancing, we can also struggle under concerns about the unknown. Will you get sick? Will someone you love get sick? What will you do if you lose your job? These worries add more stress to what you are already experiencing and can lead to feelings of anxiousness and loneliness.
Inadequate social interaction over long periods of time can create or exasperate feelings of:
- Cognitive decline
Physical contact makes us human and can help us cope and heal. Unfortunately, during a global health crisis, we are unable to have physical contact with our loved ones, which can contribute to negative impacts on our mental health.
Importance of Staying Connected While Social Distancing
Social distancing can affect our physical health. Prolonged isolation can be linked to the following effects:
- Poor quality of sleep
- Increased risk of stroke
- Poor cardiovascular function
- The onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
The global COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented stressor. Daily uncertainty combined with stay-at-home orders can add a new, significant layer of stress and disrupt your mind and body’s normal functions. Fortunately, even if you are social distancing, there are ways you can overcome isolation and stay connected to others.
Tips for Staying Connected and Maintaining Your Mental Health While Quarantined
Unsure how to stay connected while quarantining? The following tips will help you stay connected to your loved ones and maintain your mental health while in self-isolation:
- Add structure and routine into your life.
- Avoid news reports that make you feel distressed or anxious.
- Wave to a neighbor from a safe distance when you go for a walk.
- Make phone calls rather than send text messages.
- Send a postcard or note in the mail.
- Connect virtually by video chatting.
7 Summit Pathways Can Help During Recovery
At 7 Summit Pathways, we can help during your Recovery journey. Our caring, experienced physicians, therapists, counselors, coaches and case managers will work together to develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs. Our treatment center in Tampa, Florida is a private, intimate environment that focuses on holistic therapies and an evidence-based approach.
Our programs are built upon the 7 Dimensions of Wellness. Our goal is to strengthen the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health of each of our patients. For more information about how we can help during your Recovery, contact us today.