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  • Writer's pictureSarah Dalechek, MD

Coronavirus and your Mental Health

As novel coronavirus advances across the country, more and more Americans are staying in their homes to prevent the spread of disease. This has been widely termed "social distancing" by the CDC and WHO, and it can have a major effect on those who already struggle with social anxiety issues. It can worsen depression, and promote thoughts of helplessness and loneliness within ourselves. For those whose treatment plan involves leaving the house and being in social situations, the recent cancellations of everyday events can be harmful to mental health.

The virus has affected major sporting events like the NBA, MLB, NHL, and the NFL. Cruises and airlines are postponing travel, and schools across the country are closing. Stock market volatility and uncertainty are becoming more commonplace as entire countries like China, Italy, and Iran are on lockdown. As no vaccine is currently available, people are likely going to be experiencing mental health issues from this pandemic for some time to come.

As you contemplate the changes that are happening around you, be sure to take time to focus on yourself and your own wellbeing. In times of stress, it is easy to lose focus of what makes us happy. There are a number of ways to maintain a good mental health foundation. Here are some of the basics to remember:

- Take part in regular physical activity. This is good for both your physical body and mind.

- Keep up with proper nutrition. Eating meals that are high in nutrients, and low in sodium, sugars, and fats.

- Spend time outdoors, as much as possible. Even a short walk can make large differences in your mindset.

- Make sleep a priority. Getting adequate rest will better prepare you for the rest of your day and keep your mind healthy.

In line with other businesses making changes to better accommodate their customers, Oceanview Psychiatry is now offering telephone and virtual appointments to better service patients. The virtual conference tool in use by Oceanview Psychiatry is HIPAA compliant, and can provide for a similar level of interaction and treatment one would expect from an in person visit. Contact us today, and allow us to provide personalized treatment that can help you in everyday life and in prolonged times of stress.

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