• Tricia Arriagada

Stressed out, anxious, depressed! Improve your mental and emotional well-being

Here Are Some Suggestions That Could Help

The pandemic has created a crisis in mental health. According to the CDC, rates of anxiety, depression, substance use, stress related symptoms and suicidal ideation have doubled since the start of the pandemic. So why is this the case? Many faced and are still facing long periods of isolation, which can lead to depression and lack of motivation. There is anxiety around finances, and instability in jobs. And there has been a great deal of grief and loss, whether it was loss of a loved one, a job, or their health. A comment I often hear is that even though it is nice to go back to "normal" it can be overwhelming. Transitioning from "stay at home order life" to "real life" can lead to more stress and exhaustion. There are things you can do to improve your mental and emotional well-being. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Connect with other people. Make it a point to put it on your calendar. Schedule a meet-up with a friend whether it's in person, over zoom, or over the phone.

  • Pay attention to the present moment. This helps you get out of your head and stop the negative thought patterns that are playing in your mind. Take a moment to see the beauty that is right in front of you.

  • Start small. One of my favorite quotes by Martin Luther King Jr. is "You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." Think of an area in your life you want to improve then take one action step in that direction.

  • Get out in nature. Studies show being in nature increases energy levels, reduces depression, and boosts well-being.

  • Take care of your body. Eat nutritious foods, drink plenty of water, get more sleep, and exercise. Doing more for your body will decrease depression, and anxiety and improve mood.

  • Volunteer your time and help others. Evidence shows helping others can improve mood, self-esteem, and happiness.

  • Discover coping mechanisms for your stress. Take a walk, play with your pet, or try journaling. Find what works for you.

  • Get help when you need it. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.




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