Managing Major Pandemic-Related Life Changes When Recovering from Mental Health Challenges: 4 Tips for Success
Over the span of a year, the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly upended the lives of every person across the globe. There was almost no time to come to terms with the massive changes that we would be asked to handle. Many lost friends and loved ones as a result of the virus. And everything from school, work, entertainment, and how we interact with others still remains significantly altered in 2021.
Changes on this scale were bound to cause massive mental health issues — even for those who didn’t struggle with any specific condition prior to the pandemic. As a result, millions of individuals are still working to cope with the new “norms” of daily life.
If you are continuing to navigate one or more mental health challenges, Ibere Mental Health provides four tips for managing major COVID-19 related life changes.
Be patient and kind with yourself
If you are used to being tough with yourself, now is the time to make a significant shift in how you talk to yourself. Whether you are helping your children through virtual classes, looking for a new job after being laid off, changing your shopping habits, or staying at home much more than ever before, your efforts are to be praised.
Rather than being critical with what you could have done better, different, etc., practice being kind to yourself. Even if all you do in a day is get out of bed and tend to laundry, feel empowered to be positive about those actions. It’s also important to remember that no one is perfect. That’s why it is beneficial to be patient with yourself as you navigate the major changes that have come your way.
Create a routine that works for your unique needs
Research has proven the importance of routines for both children and adults. However, a routine is most meaningful when it is tailored to your individual needs.
If you try to follow a routine that you think you “should” be following — rather than one that is actually compatible with your life — you won’t yield the results you want. Instead, the disappointment caused by incorrect expectations could provoke feelings of anxiety, sadness, depression, and more.
If your days don’t look like you think they “should” right now, know that your routine won’t be permanent. Allow yourself to accept doing what works right now in order to meet your needs.
Connect with others regularly
Although it remains a challenge, social connection — even virtually — is paramount in recovering from any mental health condition. According to one report from Harvard Medical School, having a lack of strong relationships can be more harmful to one’s health than smoking 15 cigarettes per day. Additionally, connecting with others has also been shown to significantly improve overall mental health.
Consider becoming self-employed
When coping with any mental health condition, taking time off of work for treatments can be difficult. This is especially true for those who are now watching their children at home due to the pandemic. Whether you’re finding it challenging to get hired after a pandemic-related layoff, or are experiencing frequent scheduling conflicts, self-employment can be a wonderful solution to these issues.
Across industries, there are millions of freelancing and contract work openings. From design work to IT, there are limitless possibilities. Alternatively, if it is right for your current situation, you can become self-employed by opening your own business. If you choose this option, forming an LLC can provide you with limited liability and special tax advantages. When looking to form an LLC, you’ll want to review all applicable state regulations, and decide whether you would like to form it yourself or with the help of a formation service.
Managing major pandemic-related changes during your recovery is possible with the right tools and advice. For additional or personalized advice on coping at this uncertain time, it is best to reach out to Ibere Mental Health.
Ibere Mental Health provides initial evaluations, medication management sessions, and individual/group sessions for adults, children, and families. To learn more, or to book an appointment, reach out to our team.
Constance Ray — Recoverywell.org