Why You Should Take Care of Your Mental Health During Covid-19
Since the pandemic has become a more prevalent issue, more people have begun to experience grueling consequences, whether those consequences be mental or in their everyday life. During this time, it is crucial for students to tend to their mental health.
“The pandemic has really brought mental health to the forefront, as its effects have activated mental health symptoms or intensified existing ones,” said Erica Pearson, director of counseling, health, and wellness. “With life being so drastically impacted by the pandemic, it’s important to focus on in on the basics of self-care and create routines around them.”
Pearson noted that chronic stress from mental health needs can affect factors of someone’s physical health, such as the immune system, hormone levels, blood pressure, and other parts of the body.
Tonya Johnson, ER nurse and Insurance Verification worker at Allegiance Health, added that having a negative mental state can also induce a depressive state from sitting at home and not being able to see loved ones, and potentially weight gain from over-eating and no physical activity.
Johnson said, "A negative mental health state can be harmful to overall health. It can cause depression due to just sitting around all day with noting productive to do, and obesity from lack of physical activity. Being depressed can increase the chance of obesity too, if you do not have the motivation to do anything, you can lack that needed exercise and overeat and gain weight."
As for what an individual could do to help take care of themselves during this pandemic, there are a multitude of options. According to Edward-Elmhurst Health, eating regularly, attempting to get in at least 15 minutes of physical activity, and remembering to prioritize good sleep are all great ways to help yourself during a rough time such as the one we are in now. Pearson agrees with these ideas, as well as taking time out of your day to engage in activities that you find enjoyable such as video games, reading, or mediation.
“Wide-spread conversations about self-care and counseling have begun to destigmatize help-seeking, and mental health providers have had an increased requestion for services,” said Pearson.
For students looking for counseling, you can visit olivetcounseling.titaniumhwc.com to schedule a consultation appointment and to fill out paperwork.
For students who are seeking mental health support, you can reach the Olivet College 24/7 Support Line at 877-650-8875.