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Mental Health

Pandemic Mental Health: Let’s Talk

The pandemic is stressful. There is no doubt about that. We are all coping with the pandemic and how it is affecting us and the world around us in very different ways. That is okay. Having bad days is okay. What is not okay is pushing aside our mental health during a time where it is even more crucial to take care of it.

Many are trying to avoid COVID-19 at all costs with the end goal of eventually ending the pandemic. Some are scared of getting sick and spreading the illness to loved ones. Others are stressed by all of the changes happening in the world due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Some have been stuck in the same house with the same people since March. Other people have been alone with little contact with others that’s not through a screen. Some work essential jobs that put them in contact with hundreds of people a day, risking their health to pay their bills. Events we were all looking forward to were canceled or made virtual. Some schools are online making for an unideal learning environment, while other schools are in person risking further spread on the virus. To say the least, we are all scared or stressed, and it has been taking tolls our metal health since March.

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So how do we take care of our mental health in the middle of this pandemic? 

First of all, know the symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you show symptoms. We get stressed by the unknown, so lower stress levels by being prepared if you show symptoms or test positive.

Participate in self-care. No matter what that looks like for you, take care of yourself emotionally and physically. Taking care of yourself emotionally can look like taking on a hobby that calms you down, taking breaks to watch a guilty pleasure television show, or taking on a nightly skincare routine. Take time to unwind and find something to escape the chaos of the world, even if it is just for a little bit. Just focusing on the outside world and all of the negatives will just lead to built-up stress. Taking care of yourself physically can look like washing your hands, wearing a mask, eating healthy, working out, and just doing whatever you can to be the healthiest version of you possible.

Connect with others. Social distancing ourselves and social isolation get lonely. Connect with people however you can virtually from a distance to prevent getting too lonely. Human connections can still be made without touch and face-to-face contact. However, while you are using virtual platforms to stay connected to others, remember to take breaks from social media and the news. Constantly hearing about the pandemic will only stress you out further. Stay informed, but escape all the information every now and then for the sake of your mental stability.

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Take care of yourself!

Zoey is a third-year student studying English and Creative Writing and Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Iowa. When she is not running social media for patchwork lit mag or editing Her Campus Iowa articles, you can often find her curled up with a glass of wine watching cheesy reality television.
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