If you're feeling anxiety about moving back into 'normal' you're not alone.
Jessie Shepherd, LCMHC, joined us with some common mental hang-ups during this time.
She says a national Blue Cross Blue Shield survey (2020) found:
61.5% increase in Major Depressive Disorder
50.8% increase in Substance use disorder
38.6% in Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Some common post-pandemic mental health systems include not wanting to leave the house (or feeling distressed when we need to), anxiety around social interactions and fear of conversations or basic social communication.
Inwardly, you may have difficulty getting back into a morning routine, you may be panic eating or finding yourself spending all your time on your screens.
Jessie says as we move forward, 'back to normal' doesn't mean you will feel better. She says it will take time to process so be kind to yourself.
She suggests these tips:
- Positive Future image.
Have a picture of what you would like next and create structure to get there. Have these steps be concrete and realistic.
- Reflect on what you have learned.
Think about what real happiness is and what we want out of life. We can't always control our world, but we can control how we manage ourselves and our priorities. We all learned a lot during this pandemic so try and hold on to any positives.
- Seek help and support.
This year was difficult and it can be overwhelming to try and process on your own. Reach out to your supports and seek professional help. If we come together, we can heal together.
You can find Jessie at blueclovertherapy.com.
(Data sourced from Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, COVID-19 National Pulse Survey (2020) and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index.)