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Arbor Health and Life

Back to Summer 2021

Take extra care of your mental health

You're preoccupied and having difficulty focusing. Your sleep isn't great. And you aren't eating as well as you know you should.

You may be stressed out by COVID-19. Arbor Health Behavioral Health Specialist Carolyn Price says it is not unusual to be anxious during a disease outbreak, especially a pandemic like this one. But chronic stress isn't good for your body or mind.

"It might be time to take some steps to ease the pressure on yourself," she says.

Recognize signs of stress

You may be feeling stressed if you're having:

  • Fearful thoughts about your health and the health of family and friends.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Changes in your eating patterns.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • A worsening of health problems.
  • A worsening of depression or other mental health conditions.
  • A rise in your use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.

Take steps to feel better

  • Wean yourself off constant news. This can be as easy as turning off the TV.
  • Check in with family and friends. Call them or have a video chat. Meet with your book club over a group-meeting app.
  • Get your facts straight. Learn more about the virus from reputable sources like public health agencies and your local health department. Knowledge can ease anxiety.
  • Celebrate small wins. Keep track of moments of gratitude and joy.
  • Keep to healthy daily routines. Whatever you do for self-care, keep up with those habits. They can help you feel more in control.
  • Move more. Exercise can improve both mental and physical health.
  • Practice mindfulness. Be in the moment, rather than worrying about what comes next.
  • Put free time to good use. Listen to an audiobook. Draw or paint. Make notes in a journal. Work in your garden.

Categories: Emotional health

Need someone to talk to?

Carolyn Price, LICSW, is Arbor Health's new behavioral health specialist. She sees patients at all three Arbor Health clinics. Call your Arbor Health clinic for an appointment.

Arbor Health Clinics:

How stress affects you