Mental Health Awareness During Covid-19
Many people are dealing with higher levels of stress during this unprecedented experience, which makes prioritizing and caring for our emotional and mental health more important than ever.
In an effort to help RedMane team members remain healthy and connected during these challenging times, RedMane invited Joyce Marter, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and leader at the Family Institute at Northwestern University, to speak to staff during several companywide virtual meetings.
Below is a short video summary Marter created, followed by a few of the key points she shared during the RedMane meetings.
You Are Not Alone: The Stress is Real!
Marter told everyone they are not alone if they are encountering any or all of these pandemic induced stressors:
- Fear and concern for health and safety of self and loved ones
- Adjustments to working from home
- Creating separation between work and home life
- New demands such as homeschooling
- Challenges managing uncertainty and change
- Financial fears
- Relationship conflict
- Loneliness and isolation
Stress Takes a Toll
The symptoms of this increased stress level could manifest in the following ways:
- Negative or catastrophic thinking
- Having unrealistic expectations
- Self-sabotaging behaviors
- Poor self-care habits
- Feelings of grief and loss
- Changes in routine
- Feeling alone
- Difficulty concentrating
- Distorted sense of time
- Changes in productivity
- Increase in anxiety and depression
- Increase in substance abuse
Reducing Stress: Control Recognition and Creating a Healthy Routine
Marter said to minimize the effects of the pandemic stressors, it’s important to recognize what you can and cannot control.
You can control:
- Your own thoughts
- Your own emotions
- Your own behaviors
- Your own choices
You can not control:
- Other people’s thoughts
- Other people’s emotions
- Other people’s behaviors
- Other people’s choices
Marter noted that it’s important to try to maintain some “normalcy” by structuring your day in the following ways:
- Take time for self-care
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule
- Eat healthy meals
- Dedicate a set number of hours to work time
- Seek support
- Minimize the amount of time spent reading or watching the news
Practicing Mindfulness to Reduce Stress
Marter said maintaining moment-by-moment, non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment can reduce stress. She suggested these strategies:
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Unplugging from technology
- Listening and using your senses
- Mindful eating and spending
- Active meditations
- Positive mantra
- Spending time in nature
Marter emphasized it is important to access support by connecting with loved ones online, participating in online communities, trying to talk about your feelings, and even utilizing teletherapy. By prioritizing your mental health and wellbeing, trying to maintain a sense of humor, and remembering this is only temporary, Marter said we will all stay strong, resilient, and mentally healthy.
About Joyce Marter, LCPC
Joyce Marter is a licensed psychotherapist, national keynote speaker, author, and founder of Urban Balance. You can get in touch with her and find out more information here.
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