Our world as we knew it has significantly changed. The occurence of COVID-19 created a different way of living that involved new rules. Wearing masks in public places, maintaining social distance, washing hands and sanitizing at every turn and restricted movement.
This also came with job losses, loss of family and friends to the disease and an adaptation to a strange way of living.
These changes brought with them heightened stress levels and anxiety. Fear of the disease on the one hand for some and fear of not surviving the hard economic times that followed for others.
So how does this affect our mental health?
The higher the stress levels experienced, the higher the likelihood to get into violent behaviour such as domestic violence, robberies, rape and murders coupled with negative coping mechanisms, such as excessive drinking, reckless sexual activities, unhealthy eating habits just to name but a few.
High-stress levels can also drive individuals into isolation and depression,hypervigilance(in this case against germs) which may result in obsessive behavior.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. We can still thrive and make strides during this season.
Some of the ways this can happen are through exercising, journaling, taking walks, meditation, engaging in hobbies and seeking professional help.
How have you been coping during this season?