By: Dr. Maria Holmes, RN, DCES
Maintaining one’s mental health is key during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health impacts how we think, feel, respond and even live. One’s mental health is important at all stages of life, from childhood through adulthood (Lake & Turner, 2017). There are many day-to-day and life experiences that contribute to mental health problems with the current COIVD-19 outbreak being at the forefront.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused individuals to feel anxious, overwhelmed, helpless, and even isolated. It is central to understand that these are normal feelings and you are not alone as your family members, coworkers, friends, and church family may feel the same. It is important to acknowledge how you’re feeling during this current COVID-19 pandemic and address those feelings in hopes of maintaining a healthy mental state. One’s mental health determines the decisions that are made which can impact individuals positively or negatively ( Howley, 2019).
It is imperative that we as believers equip ourselves with the necessary tools and resources to deal with daily stressors and anxiety during this time. Many may feel overwhelmed and sad. Each person reacts differently to manage his or her feelings of stress and anxiety. These feelings can become difficult to manage and affect our daily life. Self-Care & managing one’s emotional well-being during coronavirus can involve connecting with friends, family, and church family.
Positive mental health allows people to:
Realize their full potential
Cope with the stresses of life
Make meaningful contributions to their communities
Do not forget your basic needs
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
Spend time outside when you can
Engage in regular physical activity
Keep up with a good meal plan and drink water
Try journaling, meditation or deep breathing exercises
Set aside a dedicated time each day to do something that makes you feel calm and alleviates stress (i.e. prayer, reading, walking, meditation, cooking, or doodling in a coloring book, etc.).
Keep in contact with friends, family, church family, and other members of the community (can use phone calls/face time, zoom, texts, and social media).
Isaiah 41:10 - Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Philippians 4:6-9 - Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Elaine K. Howley. (2019). What mental health statistics can tell us. Retrieved from: https://health.usnews.com
Lake, J., & Turner, M. S. (2017). Urgent need for improved mental health care and a more Collaborative Model of Care. The Permanente Journal, 21, 17–024. https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/17-024
Xiang, Y., Yang, Y., Li, W., Zhang, L., Zhang, Q., Cheung, T., & Ng, C. H. (2020). Timely mental health care for the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak is urgently needed. The Lancet Psychiatry, 7(3), 228-229. doi:10.1016/s2215-0366(20)30046-8