By Tara Bitzan, Executive Director, Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak is very real. It can involve fear and worry about your health or the health of loved ones, upset caused by changed routines and schedules or changes in eating and exercise, and worry over the future of your company, your job or your finances.
Everyone reacts differently so there is no easy guideline for ensuring you or your loved ones aren’t overcome by this stress. Your coping mechanism may not work for your spouse, your child, your elderly parent, or your coworker. The main thing is to be aware, and to talk with others regularly about what is going on and how you are feeling.
It’s important to pay attention to how this pandemic is affecting you and those you love. While you may feel like things are going just fine, or that your kids have adapted well, or that your elderly parent doesn’t seem too worried, they may be putting on a strong front but be panicking inside. We are all in this together, but it isn’t easy when one person watches someone else go about their day as if nothing is out of the ordinary while they themselves feel like they are falling into a pit of despair, anxiety and depression.
So it is important to remember that while we are all experiencing changed lives because of COVID-19, we will all deal with it very differently. Besides talking regularly with others, there are some simple things we can all do to try to take care of our mental health.
Here are a few:
Most importantly, seek help if you are feeling overwhelmed or if a loved one is struggling and you don’t feel equipped to help them. Don’t wait.