Due to Covid-19 and isolation, mental health problems are on the rise. Anxiety, depression, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts are running rampant through the American population, and few companies are prepared to deal with the sheer volume of cases and the varied symptom scope. While professional help is always advised, there are some things you can do to help your friends, coworkers, and loved ones navigate these difficult times:
Keep an Open Line of Communication About Mental Health
We know that communication is important, and we know that talking about stress and mental health issues with a professional can be very helpful in learning to manage and cope with symptoms. Encourage your coworkers and friends to seek out professional help, but also encourage them to keep an open line of communication about their mental health to the people around them — friends, family, coworkers, even superiors.
One of the most debilitating parts of battling mental health issues, even outside of a Pandemic, is the loneliness or feeling like no one else understands how you feel. Since we have to quarantine and isolate due to Covid-19, that feeling is amplified, and discourages people from reaching out. Staying disciplined to keep open communication specifically surrounding mental health is a great way to help others know that they aren’t alone in what they are feeling, and that they have a network of people who know what they’re going through and want to walk through it together.
Express to the people around you that you wish to keep open communication, but it is extremely important to lead by example as well. If you step out in courage to express how you are feeling, the people around you will feel better about doing the same.
Take Care of Your Body, and Help Others to Do The Same
When dealing with mental health battles like anxiety, depression, insomnia, and others, it is important to give your body the best chance you can. During the pandemic, it can be difficult to care for your body like you do when you can be out and about, but some small intentions can go a long way in giving your brain a fighting chance:
- Drink enough water (half of your body weight in ounces each day)
- Get some Sunlight
- Move! Even if just a quick 10-minute walk.
- Eat balanced meals. That means vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates in each meal.
- Get the right amount of sleep — not too much or too little.
- Connect with others
- Limit screen time
- Stick with a hobby — or start a new one!
Finally, if you are experiencing mental health issues like anxiety or depression, mood-altering agents like alcohol or drugs (even caffeine!) can have a severely negative effect in the long run. While they may give temporary relief, they over-tax your brain and leave you with a depletion of the feel-good chemicals that help balance your mental health.
Remember: Everyone Will Respond to Stress Differently
Mental health issues are far from a one-size-fits-all problem, and each person will show different symptoms and require different treatment and care. Additionally, there are a lot of people experiencing things like anxiety and depression for the first time due to the pandemic, and may not know what is going on in their own brain. If an employee or coworker comes to you with symptoms that look different from what you’ve seen before, remember that it can still be a symptom of stress, and it needs to be dealt with as such.
During Covid-19, we need to address the incidence of serious anxiety, depression, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts amongst the population. VertiSource HR® offers EAP services to their client partners and their employees. Call 855.565.VSHR (8747) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how you can provide employee assistance programs and support services for your workers.