Having consulted health professionals in different fields, it is clear that Covid and everything that went with it exacerbated illnesses in patients, both physical and mental. One G.P stated that they had had some patients present with ailments such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression; patients that had never before consulted them for mental health related issues.
Sadly, children were not immune from this, studies show that school going children also struggled to cope mentally when schools were closed because of lockdowns. With most of their social interaction being online, Zoom fatigue soon set in, only adding to the burden.
Many patients for whom counselling in the past had been enough for them to deal with life’s challenges found themselves requiring medication under psychiatric care.
Fast forward to 2022…
Just as a modicum of normality began returning to life, Russia invaded Ukraine. The thought of war on its own is already frightening, but the added potential threat of nuclear weapons being brought to the fray has a lot of people’s anxiety levels skyrocketing, and the overall global news coverage seems to be bombarding us with negativity and hopelessness.
It is important to be aware of what is happening in our country and the world. The mainstream news is still often the go-to for many citizens, particularly those in the age bracket 60+, while younger generations are even more connected through their smart phones. Regardless of how you access your information, it is imperative to unplug, step back, and regroup often because it is human nature to become stressed about the things (like war) that we cannot control, making it difficult for us to find solutions for the problems that we can fix (such as planning healthy meals, rather than resorting to ‘comfort eating’).
On the subject of meal planning, another line of mental illness is that of eating disorders. These too, have become more prevalent in recent years. There are various eating disorders across the spectrum, but most often in stressful situations most people either refrain from eating altogether, or resort to binge eating. It can be linked to the fact that food intake, or the lack of, is something within one’s control.
It is likely that every person reading this blog has felt/is (still) feeling overwhelmed by the catastrophic events of the past two years. You yourself may be in need of help or know of someone who does. Here are a few helpful tips to help you:
- Get enough sleep, drink enough water, and have a healthy meal as often as possible.
- Spend some time outdoors in the sunshine; the natural Vitamin D stimulated the release of both serotonin and dopamine – hormones that improve your mood.
- Remember that you’re not alone in your emotions; talk to someone about how you’re feeling. There are a myriad of benefits associated with talk therapy. Share your feelings with a trusted friend, your church minister, or a professional. Bristol Counselling and Psychotherapy have various counsellors and psychotherapists to assist you in your mental health journey.
- Go analogue: The constant onslaught of screen time not only interferes with the body’s circadian rhythm which regulates sleep, it also leads to a decline in vision in the long term. Unplug and unwind!
There will undoubtedly be a ripple effect from current events, but being able to identify one’s triggers and address them constructively will definitely have a positive impact.