Pandemic Fatigue & Your Mental Health
Delaney Wells CPS
Are you feeling tired of COVID? Is the weight of the pandemic weighing on your mental health?
You’re not as alone as you might think. As it so happens many people across the globe are feeling worn out from COVID but do not know how to associate their feelings with this period of time. There is a new term that correlates this time during the pandemic and how people are feeling about the state of the world around them. Psychology experts are referring to what you might be experiencing as “Pandemic fatigue”. So what does Pandemic fatigue look like? For many people being affected by pandemic fatigue, this means increased anxiety and stress levels, a decline in mental health, irritability, and overall fatigue or loss of interest. Pandemic fatigue typically sets in after a prolonged period of isolation. For some the isolation brought on by COVID has caused mental illness, loneliness, and suicidal crisis, seeking access to means, increased alcohol consumption, financial stressors, domestic violence, and Irresponsible media reporting. During the COVID-19 period, increases in alcohol sales as well as an 18% increase in drug overdose deaths have been documented in the US.
So how can we help ourselves prevent mental burnout? One ongoing way of combatting mental health disorders is by addressing the stigma behind them. As a society we should discuss mental health openly in an effort to flatten the curve. Before the pandemic hit its stride, global actions were being taken to address mental health. We were beginning to see a decline in suicide rates and an overall decline in mental health related disorders. Not only is it important to communicate how you are feeling with those around you in order to receive care, it is also important to be a person of support to your family, friends, and others close to you. How can you be a support member for someone in need? You can listen nonjudgmentally, identify others who might be a good safety contact number, help them identify past support members, and connect them to the appropriate resources, including 911 if necessary. However, if someone is experiencing a mental health crisis you should never leave that person alone, or use guilt and negative language to shame a person.
For many, pandemic fatigue provides some with the excuse to forget about personal wellbeing and safety, but now is as good of a time as any to be extra cautious. It is important to continue to follow the health and safety guidelines issued by the CDC. Please continue to keep your distance, wash your hands and wear your mask. The health of your friends, family, and community rely on your willingness to protect yourself and stop the spread of Coronavirus. For more information on mental health and suicide prevention contact Delaney Wells and/or Shelby Gordon at Southwest Counseling Service (307-352-6677). The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
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