Tips for Prioritizing Your Mental Health as we Face Another COVID-19 Spike this Winter
From Dr. Kim Gorgens
As we head into Winter, the temperatures are dropping and the days are getting shorter and darker. Under normal circumstances, this is the time of year when we start to gather with family and friends indoors to celebrate the holidays, but these are not normal circumstances. Our country is seeing another COVID-19 spike with record numbers of cases and hospitalizations.
In a number of recent articles (linked below), GSPP's Dr. Kim Gorgens has discussed ways to take care of yourself and your mental health as we head into this challenging season.
Here are some of Dr. Gorgen's strategies:
Get GOOD information in smaller doses. Limit your news consumption to reliable sources and monitor how much you're consuming. Too much exposure to media coverage and social media is related to increased fear and anxiety.
Create a new routine for the shorter days of Winter. We have less sunlight to work with and our outdoor options may be limited at times. Make sure your new Winter schedule includes your regular daily activities (work, grad school, exercise, self-care, 7.5-9 hours sleep), but add some novelty too or the monotony of routine will wear you down.
Stay connected when the world is remote. Leverage technology to maximize social support. This doesn't just mean scrolling through social media though. Find positive ways to incorporate phone calls, text messages, video chat, social media, and video conferencing.
Get it and keep it together. Most of us aren’t great at this one on our best day, but the stakes are higher now. Sleep well, eat well, and move well. Monitor self-sabotaging behavior like using or over-using alcohol or drugs. Use the tools like mindfulness, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation
Get help if you need it. There has never been a better moment to stop and seek out support if you need it. It is okay to say that you need help and to access available resources. If you're not sure where to start, click here to learn more about our community clinics.