Stress and Your Mental Health
As we continue to practice social distancing, it's essential to take care of your mental health. In honor of Stress Awareness Month, here are some simple ways you can reduce your stress levels.
Take a Break from Media Consumption
While staying informed on the state of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be beneficial, continuously hearing negative news can also take a toll on your mental health. Taking some time away from the updates and social media posts can help to put your mind at ease and focus on the positive things happening in your immediate surroundings.
If staying informed helps you, limit your information gathering to credible sites, like the CDC or WHO to 10 minutes a day.
While we’re in a state of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, it is easy to become distressed and have intrusive thoughts and feelings. These thoughts can lead to stress and other negative emotions. By using mindfulness and meditation techniques, you can help to ease feelings of stress. Try putting on some peaceful music, doing yoga, or any other activities that ease your mind.
Catch Up on Rest
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), sleep allows our brains and bodies to rest and recharge. While stress can stop you from getting a good night’s rest, the opposite is also true. When your body doesn’t get enough good quality sleep, it increases your body’s production of stress hormones.
Regardless of if your lack of sleep is causing your stress levels to increase or vice versa, these tips can help you to relax and get better quality sleep:
- Try to stick to a schedule, including going to bed and waking up at the same times every day.
- Nap smarter, being sure to avoid naps longer than 15-20 minutes long throughout the day.
- Keep your bedroom blue light-free. The blue light emitted from your phone, computer, and other devices can disrupt your ability to fall asleep.
- Avoid nicotine and alcohol use before bed. Using these types of substances may make you feel relaxed in the moment, but they disrupt your sleep cycle once they’ve worn off.
- Optimize your sleep environment. Keep your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet.
- Use grounding techniques to help you fall asleep and stay asleep
Stay Connected with Loved Ones
While practicing social distancing can make you feel isolated physically, it doesn’t have to stop you from staying emotionally connected with your friends and family. Living in the age of technology has made it easier than ever before to feel close to people who aren’t physically in front of you.
Call your family members on the phone or set up a group video chat with your friends to help support each other during this time. You can even get together ‘virtually’ to watch a movie or play games!
Mental Health Services in Jackson, Wilson, and Teton County
When it comes to mental health issues, millions of people go undiagnosed each year because they do not realize that they can benefit from medical assistance. Feelings of depression and anxiety are something no one should have to struggle with on a daily basis. At At. John's, we believe in the value of personalized care that is tailored to the specific needs of each and every patient.
Call the St. John's Health Mental Health Resource Line at 307.203.7880 to be connected with a licensed clinical social worker to learn about the different mental health resources in the community.