Sponsored by Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Healthcare System
Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed virtually everyone’s lives. The pandemic has forced many to remain in their homes for weeks and months at a time with few opportunities for escape.
While restrictions are lifting across the United States, the pandemic continues, and it continues to have an impact on people’s mental health.
According to Lauren English, a licensed professional counselor and business development representative with Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Healthcare System, loneliness has been a common reaction during the pandemic. To counter this feeling, English recommends three tips.
The first tip is to acknowledge what you have been through, and what we have collectively been through. English says that a recent study showed that 46 percent of respondents reported having worsened mental health and 65 percent reported being lonely.
This feeling of loneliness, she says, can be caused by not being around friends and by the possibility of loss, or even actual loss of family members or friends due to COVID-19.
“If we don’t acknowledge what we’ve been through, then we can’t face it,” she says.
The second tip is to reflect on the pandemic and what has happened because of it.
“The anniversary of the pandemic can bring about a lot of feelings, maybe some that are unresolved, maybe some that you have been pushing away for a while,” she says.
“One of the best things that we can do is take a step back and reflect on what the past year has changed. Think about the things in your life that you can control and the things that you can’t, and focus on the things that you can. That will give you hope moving forward.”
The third tip is to look for opportunities for reengagement.“It can be helpful to look around in your life and find small moments of connection with things that you lost or cut out of your life before the pandemic,” English says.
While the pandemic is improving, it’s not over yet. But we can take small steps to improve our mental health and decrease those feelings of loneliness.