As we transition into fall, we want to recognize the toll that COVID-19 and the pandemic has had on our communities physical, mental, and social health. We are entering our eight month of this pandemic which has created a host of problems including social distancing, financial hardship, un/under-employment, isolation, and evictions.
We also know that hearing updates, news, tips, and stories of the pandemic can be overwhelming. It can take a toll on our mental health and our physical health. According to the Center for Disease Control [Link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html] notes that there are a number of risk factors that can result from the stress of a major event, including a pandemic:
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on.
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
- Worsening of chronic health problems.
- Worsening of mental health conditions.
- Increased use of tobacco, and/or alcohol and other substances.
Now more than ever—as temperatures begin to drop—we encourage you to recognize the toll it may be taking and seek opportunities to instill wellness practices into your routine. Stress and fatigue can be difficult to combat, but there are things you can do to manage during the pandemic:
- Hearing about COVID-19 all the time can be exhausting. Take a break from the news and social media so you do not get too overwhelmed. If you have questions about what you are hearing, you can always reach out to the Minnesota Helpline at 651-297-1304.
- Take some time for yourself, especially when you are feeling stressed. Consider exercising, journaling or meditating as ways to relief stress.
- Take advantage of the weather—spend time outside.