Opinion | How to take care of your mental health during a medical crisis

Allante’ Burnell

Allante’ Burnell is a mental health specialist in Northville who treats patients statewide via phone or video consultation.

Adding to the already existing chaos in the world, COVID-19 or the new coronavirus, has complicated the lives of many worldwide in a short time. From your neighborhood grocery stores to your favorite hair salon, we all have been impacted by this pandemic. Since we are all affected, it is important to keep in mind how we also need to stick together during this time of need.

With information overload bombarding us with inconsistent details, the creation of mass hysteria and distress within our communities is imminent. As societal anxiety builds around us, it is important to take care of ourselves. Many people, as they continue to engage in social distancing, become more irritable or antsy as they feel contained within their own space. If this begins to happen, take some time to observe how you feel about being alone within your own space. Take a moment to determine if the same emotions that have been triggered by self-isolation, also, hinders your ability to prioritize yourself when you are not required to stay home. Think to yourself, am I able to go to a movie alone, and have a nice time out? When I am alone, am I able to sit with my thoughts or do I have to preoccupy mind/body to be content with the silence? When I attempt to engage in self-care, do I feel guilty of the time I am spending on myself? Do I then re-prioritize tasks to lessen the personal value I allot toward myself? It is important to reflect on these points, to learn how to be happy within one’s own space and using your time for yourself.

During the quarantine take some time to:

  • Learn more about yourself
  • Discover your personal self-care needs/routines.
  • Discover/rediscover hobbies you have been wanting to pick up.
  • Practice meditation or mindfulness.
  • Stay in the present moment and be mindful, which is important during these times
  • Find your individuality and self-interests
  • As our society pauses during this crisis, reflect on what we value and also what or who you may have been taking for granted.
  • Establish a daily routine
  • Schedule a routine for your children to maintain the structure school provided them with.
  • During this time, it is important to check up on your elderly family members. Show them you are thinking about them and their well-being because they are the most vulnerable segment of the population during the pandemic. Also, contact others who you suspect may be struggling through these times. A crisis like the one we are now in the midst of brings on emotional and economic insecurities for many family members, friends, and work colleagues.
  • Write out a self-schedule to increase productivity and fulfillment throughout the day.
  • And finally, take a break from the news and do something you enjoy. Go for a walk outside (while keeping appropriate social distance), watch a movie, listen to your favorite music, play a board game, or read a book you have been meaning to immerse yourself in.

Most importantly, remember to prioritize yourself.

It is vitally important to take care of your medical health, but also your mental health. Make sure to emphasize it during these times. If you feel impacted by COVID-19, do not hesitate to search for an online therapy services provider. 

As we fight this pandemic together remember to stay safe, stay healthy, and stay socially distant.

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