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    The mental impact of Covid-19

    The Mental Impact of Covid-19

    I think we can well agree that living in today’s society is no easy task – especially with a pandemic having changed our lives forever.

    The way we work, socialize and go about our day to day has changed. Many of us now find ourselves isolated which leads to us spending quite a bit of time with ourselves. This can lead to over thinking for any person, but it takes a much bigger toll on those who suffer from depression and anxiety.

    Studies have shown that during the pandemic, a larger than average share of young adults (ages 18-24) report symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder. Compared to all adults, young adults are more likely to report substance use and suicidal thoughts. Prior to the pandemic, young adults were already at high risk of poor mental health and substance use disorder, though many did not receive treatment.

    The economic impact of Covid-19 has left many without jobs and unable to support themselves or their families. This has led to a higher number of individuals finding themselves homeless and resorting to sleeping on the sidewalks and under bridges. Finding oneself in this situation undoubtably takes a toll on your mental wellbeing.

    Yet despite all of the challenges we are all facing, we struggle to be kind to ourselves and others. Having our way of life change this drastically with many negative side effects, we need to take a step back and realize that the impact of the pandemic is no minor thing. Some are finding it difficult to socialize again, others are isolated with a dire need to see friends and family. There are many of us who have lost loved ones, relationships with friends and more.

    We cannot ignore the fact that changing the way we think and the standards we hold ourselves and others to will not change overnight but taking small steps everyday is great way to start.

    Below is a list of helpful things you could add into your daily routine to help practice kindness towards yourself and others.

    1. Take a moment to reflect. With everything changing at such a fast past, it can be easy to get lost in it all. Take time out of your day to look at what is going on around you.
    2. Make a list of things to be grateful for.
    3. Have a healthy work\life balance. Yes, those of us who are lucky enough to be employed should appreciate our jobs, but overworking will lead to a burnout.
    4. Connect with others. Many of our friends and family are dealing with their own issues and might not be as engaging as they once were before the pandemic – Don’t take this personally. Reach out and let them know that they are on your mind.
    5. Keep active. We aren’t able to enjoy the outdoors much anymore but exercising at home is a great way to release built up tension and stress.
    6. Get enough sleep – Just because you’re at home all day doesn’t mean your body is getting the rest it needs. Sitting on the couch all day doesn’t count.
    7. Do not judge others or yourself for the downfalls experienced due to the pandemic. We’re all just trying to survive.
    8. Find someone to talk to about how you are feeling. Mental health is something you cannot see and not many understand but this does not take away the importance of it. Your feelings are valid.

    Free SA Mental Health Helplines

    • Suicide Crisis Helpline (24 hrs): 0800 567 567
    • CIPLA Mental Health Helpline (24 hrs): 0800 456 789
    • Substance Abuse Hotline (24 hrs): 0800 12 13 14
    • CIPLA Whatsapp Chat Line (09:00 – 16:00): 076 882 2775
    • Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline (08:00 – 20:00): 0800 70 80 90.

    “Kindness begins with the understanding that we all struggle.”

    — Charles Glassman

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