COVID-19 pandemic can wear on your emotions, expert says

Local News

Your emotional well being might be more vulnerable now than it has ever been.

Mental health specialists say you need to pay attention to it while you’re stuck at home more than usual.

They say it’s important to restructure your job routine while working from home, and to take time to de-stress, because these big changes in life and a lack of socialization can hurt your state of mind.

Joe Lilly, director of outpatient services at the Unity Point Robert Young Center says that the coronavirus is compounding mental health issues, because of job loss, changes to people’s daily routine structure, and screen time habits being picked up with new found down time.

“We also want to be mindful of the different outlets for information. It’s good that we educate ourselves about how to navigate COVID,” Lilly said. “But also we need to put limits on how much time we spend doing that, as that has shown to create more stress if we spend too much time on social media.”

While many people are turning to texting and social media to communicate…There are some risks involved.

“You do miss some of the nonverbal cues and things that help us understand and relate to one another, so there’s so much that we have to focus on in our voice and how we talk to one another that helps people understand.”

Lilly says that if stress caused by the change in work flow, as well as the lack of socialization leaves you feeling lonely..

“Have you tried the things that help improve your mood? We talk about exercise and different activities that can help you,” Lilly said. “If you’re still noticing signs that you’re still not yourself or you’re not sleeping well, intrusive thoughts about COVID-19 and you can’t settle yourself, it’s important to seek out help if you can.”

Lilly says it’s important to develop a structure for kids as well, as it can lower their stress and yours.

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