The New Normal: How to Cope with Lifestyle Changes During COVID-19
Many people have been grieving their “pre-COVID” lives where we were free to congregate, shop, eat, and leave the house whenever we pleased. We have to realize that we are going through a grieving process for those lives and everyone will be in their own stages of grief at different times: shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, and hope.
It was reported by all Huron County law enforcement agencies, that between January 1, 2020 and April 14,2020, there was 26% increase in rates for suicidal individuals/mental health reports compared to the same period in 2019. While we were “flattening the curve” of the pandemic, mental health symptoms and trauma responses were increasing.
Many symptoms of anxiety and depression have increased in frequency and severity due to isolation, restricted access to distractions outside of the home, uncertainty, feeling choices or freedoms have been taken, basic living needs not being met, and health related stressors.
Take the time to think about what you need the most and what you feel you are grieving the loss of during this process. Then, as the “stay at home” orders are lifted and people go back to work, children are able to go back to their childcare providers and school, look at what you can start to implement back into your routine. Create genuine personal connections, get outside and be physical, and reconnect with your community. Visit your local boutique shops, swap out your library books, schedule those hair appointments, eat at your favorite hometown restaurants, and take time to find new local services that you can support as they help you.
Be aware that some symptoms like panic and heightened sensitivity to social settings could still linger. New worries may come to mind and symptoms may even heighten as you start engaging in this “new normal”. Know that it’s to be expected in these situations and try relaxation techniques and deep breathing before you go out. If these symptoms persist or cause concern, then seek out support from your peers and from professionals. And remember, we are all going through the experience together, so you are not alone.
The Fisher-Titus Behavioral Health team provides psychiatric diagnostic evaluations for all ages and offers individual, couples, and family counseling and medication management for all psychiatric diagnoses including:
- Mood disorders
- Psychotic disorders
- Bipolar disorders
- Adjustment disorders
- Emotional disturbances
- Disruptive behavior
- Parenting concerns
- Trauma and abuse
- Family issues
The Fisher-Titus Behavioral Health team encourages patients to live healthy lifestyles and promotes the use of coping skills and self-care in the form of exercise, deep breathing techniques, journaling thoughts and feelings, and more.
We offer a complete range of outpatient mental health services, provided by our licensed staff. We also offer virtual visits. Learn more by calling 419-668-0311.