Managing mental health during COVID-19

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By Jacob Caffey, Intern

I had the pleasure of interviewing Madalyn Caldwell, Ed.S., LPC and Sheila Holmes, M.Ed., LPC, NCC. Madalyn is the owner of Anchor of Hope Counseling, LLC in Montgomery, AL and works with The Family Sunshine Center, which is also located in Montgomery as well. Sheila is the owner of the Revision Counseling Center in Auburn, AL and works with The Samaritan Counseling Center in Montgomery. These two amazing women are counselors who want to inform the city of Montgomery and beyond about mental health and the issues that come along with it. During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we all have had to acclimate ourselves mentally and physically to this “new normal”. Although this time at home has its perks, it also has its negative sides. 

Our mental state of mind has been the topic for several news stations and articles. The news is constantly bombarding us on these issues, and it is a lot to deal with. For millennials, like myself, we have had to change our entire mindset of how we operate from day to day. Some people are temporarily without the proper funding needed to survive, and others are fighting for justice on the front lines. So, the question on everyone’s mind these past few months has been “How do we mentally deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and social issues, such as racial inequality?” After talking with Caldwell and Holmes, they suggest that you follow their 4 rules of coping with stress and anxiety:

  • Rule #1 is to get off social media and turn off the news. It sounds hard, but it can create a better mindset and change your mood from stressed to relaxed in a matter of minutes. 
  • Rule #2 is to limit your conversations about the situation. No one wants to constantly hear about what is going on in the world. We are living it, so try to create a new conversation.
  • Rule #3 is to meditate. Waking up and just praying to God or your preferred higher power is enough to cleanse your entire body of negativity and have a fresh start to the day.
  • Rule #4 is to actively seek therapy. Therapy is a safe place for clients to feel free to express themselves however they see fit.

How you respond to the COVID-19 pandemic can depend on your background, your social support from family or friends, your financial situation, your health and emotional background, the community you live in, and many other factors. The changes that can happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways we try to contain the spread of the virus can affect anyone. 

Taking care of friends and family can be a stress reliever, but it should be equally balanced with care for yourself as well. Helping others cope with their stress, such as by providing social support, can also make your community stronger. During times of heightened social distancing, people can still maintain social connections and care for their mental health. Virtual communication can help you and your loved ones feel less lonely and isolated.

Mental health is an important part of overall health and wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It is very important to keep your mental health intact along with your physical health. 

All rights reserved, Gumptown Magazine. Copyright 2020.

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