Saturday, January 1, 2022
The pandemic has challenged the nation’s mental health over the last two years, with many people experiencing increased stress, anxiety and depression.
Youth are not immune to this issue.
In October 2021, the Children’s Hospital Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry declared youth mental health a national emergency.
As we continue to navigate uncertain waters, it’s important to take time to care for your own mental health. Here are some tips on what you or your loved ones can do to destress and feel less anxious:
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others.
- Stay active by trying to exercise 30 minutes or more per day, three or more days per week. This can help improve your mood and your overall health.
- Eat healthy foods rich in vitamins and minerals to boost your energy level.
- Get plenty of sleep to rest your mind and body. Adults should get seven to nine hours, while the amount of sleep recommended for children and teens varies by age.
- Spend time outside during the day to get natural light therapy, which can boost your mood.
- Plan fun activities to get out of the house.
- Schedule time with family and friends.
- Stay positive, take deep breaths to remain calm and try relaxation activities like yoga, tai chi and meditation.
- Speak to your primary care provider or a mental health professional if you continue to struggle with stress, anxiety and/or depression, especially if it begins to impact your ability to function.
In addition to these tips, remember to follow local, state and national guidelines to prevent the spread of infection. If you haven’t already, get your COVID-19 and flu vaccines (and don’t forget the COVID-19 booster dose). Also, continue to practice good hand hygiene by washing or sanitizing your hands often; wear a mask (especially if you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine); practice physical distancing; avoid large groups; and cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, then clean your hands.
At Norman Regional Health System, we want you to be healthy and safe. If you need medical advice, log on to Norman Regional Virtual Care and visit with a provider today from the comfort of your home or office. It’s quick, convenient and only costs $64 for each visit.