This COVID-19 outbreak is nothing that most us in the United States have ever experienced in our lifetime. It is a disease that has already taken the lives of thousands globally and has altered the way that we live in the most abrupt and unexpected ways. To maintain our health and to slow the spread of the virus, health and government officials have encouraged and are enforcing necessary practices and restrictions such as social distancing and limiting the number of people who can congregate in public. This new temporary way of living, along with the fear and anxiety about the virus itself, can be overwhelming to many. While you are encouraged to pay attention to any of the physical symptoms that could be indicative of COVID-19, it is also important to be mindful of your mental health during this time.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), explains that, “Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include: Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones; Changes in sleep or eating patterns; Difficulty sleeping or concentrating; Worsening of chronic health problems; Worsening of mental health conditions; Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.” The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) shares that, “The coronavirus can significantly affect mental health for everyone, but especially for those with mental illness. Both the anxiety of contracting the disease as well as the increase in loneliness and isolation can worsen and trigger symptoms.”
The CDC suggests the following tips to cope with stress during the COVID-19 outbreak:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories.
- Take care of your body by meditating, eating well-balanced healthy meals, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and avoiding alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind by doing things that you enjoy.
- Talk to those you trust about your feelings and concerns and connect with the people you care about.
To speak with a healthcare provider at Primary Medical Care Center & Urgent Care Clinic to assess any non-emergency health concerns, including suspected COVID-19 symptoms and mental health concerns, please call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic. For life-threatening emergencies, always call 911. For coronavirus updates and resources, please visit our website at www.primarymed.com.