Taking Care of Your Mental Health Post-Pandemic.
MAKING HEALTHY CHOICES
by MS Tobechi E Dimkpa (Undergraduate Research Intern)
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in several ways, with a large impact on our mental health. While the introduction of vaccinations and the relaxation of limitations provide a glimpse of hope, many of us still feel apprehensive, frightened, and uncertain about the future. We are now in what everyone calls "a new normal" This is particularly true for Latinos, who have suffered disproportionately as a result of it. As we prepare for a post-pandemic future, Latinos must prioritize their mental health and well-being. Now you’re probably asking, “Well how can I do that?”. Here are some tips to help
Acknowledge your feelings
The first step in taking care of your mental health is to acknowledge your feelings. It is normal to feel stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed after a traumatic event like the pandemic. You may have lost loved ones, struggled to make ends meet, or faced discrimination and racism. It is important to allow yourself to feel these emotions and process them in a healthy way. This may involve talking to a trusted friend or family member, journaling, or seeking professional help.
Self-care is an essential part of mental health. It involves taking time to do things that make you feel good and help you relax. This can include things like exercise, meditation, spending time in nature, or doing a hobby that you enjoy. Self-care is different for everyone, so it is important to find what works best for you and make it a regular part of your routine.
Social support is critical for mental health. The pandemic has made it difficult to stay connected with loved ones, but it is important to find ways to stay in touch. This can include video calls, phone calls, or meeting up in person if it is safe to do so. It is also important to connect with people who understand what you are going through. This may involve joining a support group or seeking out community resources.
Seek professional help
If you are struggling with your mental health, it is important to seek professional help. This may involve talking to a therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist. There are many resources available to Latinos, including community clinics, religious organizations, and online resources. If you are not sure where to start, ask your doctor or a trusted friend for a referral.
Take care of your physical health
Physical health and mental health are closely connected. Taking care of your physical health can help improve your mental health. This includes things like getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. It is also important to take care of any medical conditions you may have, as they can affect your mental health. By taking these steps, you can improve your mental health and navigate the new normal with resilience and strength.