A multifaceted challenge
As we get ready to go back to "Normal" life, we wonder what the future will bring. We conduct business differently, celebrate occasions differently, and manage our relationships differently. Which changes will we keep and which will we reject? COVID has primarily affected us in three broad categories.
COVID-19 has overturned our work routines and education modalities. Many continue to be out of school or work and find it difficult to find employment in a difficult economic time.
Those who continued working find a totally different landscape: Many are working from home and adapting to a radically different work environment, setting up their own schedules, and losing their coworkers' networking.
The social landscape has drastically changed in the last year. Going out to a bar, restaurant, or concert is out of the question. Video get-togethers replace dinner parties, and simply hanging out with family and friends, even when possible, has an entirely different flavor.
The lasting health effects of COVID-19 are still being uncovered. Common long-term symptoms range from fatigue to body aches to "brain fog," among many others.
All of these effects of Covid-19 have brought up questions like:: "Will I be safe?" "Will I find a job? "Will I be able to reconnect to my social circle?" "Will I ever recover my health?" These concerns tend to increase our levels of anxiety and depression and affecting our sleep and general health.
The Mental Health Effects
Even after Covid-19 is gone, the effects on our professional lives, social lives, and physical health may affect our mental well-being.
We are uncertain about the future, coping with losing loved ones while trying to move forward. We feel overwhelmed by conflicting reports about what to expect and when to expect it. These circumstances and emotions can easily trigger post-traumatic stress symptoms, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and substance abuse.
Tips for getting back to "Normal."
While it might be impossible to eliminate our concerns, here are some ways to help us face the post-COVID world:
- Self-Care: Eat healthily, Exercise, Get a goodnight's rest!
- Self-compassion: Acknowledge the difficulty of the situation and be kind to yourself.
- Introduce balance and routine: Re-examine your schedule and how you plan to spend your time in a post-covid world.
- Avoid news binging: Take a break when you feel yourself tensing up and becoming overwhelmed.
- Stay connected: Share your worries and how you are coping, or just hang out with people.
While tapping into your strengths and skills, recognize when you need more help in readjusting to life after COVID-19 and reach out to a professional.
Getting back to "Normal" might not end up being as simple as we think…