Wellness Wednesday: Pandemic’s Impact on Mental Health with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
Given everything that has happened over the last year, we on ‘the four’ continue to put a focus on mental health. We now have some data that backs up just how much the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our mental wellness.
According to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, more than one-third of Americans feel the pandemic is seriously affecting their mental health. Nearly 60% of those feel the pandemic is having a severe impact on their day-to-day lives. There has also been an increased use of tobacco, alcohol or other substances. Professionals are also seeing a worsening of chronic or mental health problems.
The good news: there is help out there!
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan says there are ways we can better manage anxiety and mental health in the future:
- Address anxiety quickly: The first step is acknowledging anxiety before it turns into anger. As feelings of anxiety or frustration arise, try distancing from the situation and re-centering with slow, deep breaths.
- Eliminate distractions: Start by reducing tasks to the most essential ones. Writing a list of things that need to be done the next day can be beneficial, as well as ranking them by importance and urgency. Try to strike a healthy balance between staying informed and limiting stressful information.
- Prioritize sleep: Promote good sleep by keeping the bedroom cool, dark and quiet. Manage screen time throughout the day by taking regular breaks and staying active. One hour of screen-free time before bed is recommended.
- Stay social: Helping others and volunteering is a great stress reliever. While practicing pandemic social distancing, phone calls and video chats can help individuals stay connected.
To learn more about the mental health resources with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, click here.