Mental health issues have come to the forefront during the Coronavirus pandemic. In our normal lives we are busy accomplishing tasks and activities, oftentimes distracting us from the underlying issues associated with mental health. The recent restrictions have forced people to stay partially indoors, taking away our freedom to move outside. Feelings of isolation and worry about finances can exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety, and having the appropriate coping techniques becomes more important than ever.
Having positive ways to de-stress is not only important for one’s own mental well-being but also for those around you. Research shows that the best indicator of how children react to stress is how their parents de-stress. When parents slam the door or yell at their partner, children see this and model this behavior. Parents have a great responsibility to role-model positive ways to de-stress so that their children are equipped to handle the many challenges in life. GDD’s Facebook live Mini-Series provide parents with positive ways to cope with stress.
Tova Garr, Good Deeds Day Global Partnerships and Sponsorships Coordinator and CEO and Founder of From Girls 2 Women discusses families during the pandemics, tips for dealing with the lockdown, and things to be aware of as we come out of lockdown. She explains the importance of good communication between parent and child, emphasizing the importance of investing in your children’s well-being. It is important to support your child and spend quality time together. One of the best things you can do with your family at this time is to virtually volunteer. There is nothing more empowering than helping others.
Volunteering positively affects our mental state. In our Facebook Live interview with Drew Fidler, a director at BBYO (an international Jewish youth group organization), she highlights how doing kind acts for others has a positive effect on one’s mental state. She says that when we do good deeds, we feel better about ourselves and about the world, therefore also impacting our community. It is critical, especially now, to build relationships within your community, support one another, and help individuals who might be struggling.
Even doing little things that connect us like sending a letter to a friend or sending a card to a person living in your local senior center. Drew goes on to explain how vital it is to build resilience and positive mental health as an adolescent. Having a strong community and a positive role model can help this.
James Lim, the lead at Thrive-Synergist & Founder of Emmaus Strategies, also highlights the importance of engaging in activities that bring joy and meaningful family time in order to positively cope with stress. Lim offers the COVID-19 Stress Quiz, helping gain awareness of the possible stressors that might be affecting your mental health and well being during this time. This way you can begin to tackle and overcome it.
Even though it is important to take care of your family’s needs, it is also important to exercise self-care. Western society promotes a high-stress lifestyle, rewarding individuals for working hard, getting promotions, and making more and more money. Therefore so many of us prioritize work over leisure, ignoring important free-time activities that help us relax and cope with stress.
Especially now that most of us are working from home there are many more stressors to relieve. A few things you can do to cope with stress according to James Lim is keeping a routine and making time to do your work but also making time for your family.
At times, we may feel alone in our mental health struggles. However, so many people are experiencing similar hardships and feelings. There is a culture of keeping our problems to ourselves and pushing through, but talking about our issues helps reduce levels of stress and anxiety. GDD’s Facebook Live series helps shed light on the importance of opening up to others about our mental health. People around the world have different variations of lockdown and social distancing, the best thing you can do is get in touch with your local charities and NGOs that deal with these issues of mental health and see what their needs are.
If you missed out on any of our FB Live interviews you can find the recorded versions HERE!
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