THE LEVEL – Worn out? We all are. Although it seems we should be more optimistic about the future given the COVID vaccine roll-out, it’s perfectly natural to still feel down. Everyone is feeling varying levels of COVID-19 fatigue, according to experts at Florida Blue, who warn the holidays and post-holiday season may bring even greater strain associated with social isolation and heightened stress.
Things may get (or seem) slightly worse before they get better.
“During times of constant stress, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, confused and event scared,” says Dr. Nick Dewan, Florida Blue’s vice president of behavioral health.
“It’s OK to ask for help,” says Dewan, who recommends that we:
Whether it’s a close friend, family member or a trained clinical specialist, you don’t have to go through it alone. Talk to someone who’ll listen, help and support you. Many health plans have special COVID-19 programs available for members. Some are even free.
CELEBRATE SMALL VICTORIES
Although getting out for a walk, organizing the garage or cleaning just one shelf of the pantry may not seem like much, positive activity and progress are reason for celebration, particularly during such stressful times.
“Acknowledging victories, no matter how small, can lift your spirts and bring feelings of hope,” says Dewan.
Look ahead. Whether you are looking forward to a better afternoon, week or year ahead, planning for the future is extremely beneficial, according to health experts who say planning helps us cope with stress.
As we begin to look forward, it’s important to remain open to the possibility that plans may change, according to Dewan.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
The pandemic has elevated the importance of mental health, and the need to look after both our physical and emotional needs.
Balance is important, according to experts who recommend we eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. It’s important to make time for hobbies and activities that provide the ability to maintain social distancing,
As we walk through the final stages of this epic crisis, it is important to remind ourselves there have been others. We are the descendants of its survivors. Good reason for hope.