Maintaining Strong Connections and Good Mental Health

In a recent article, we talked about the effects of social isolation on mental health at a national level. We also offered some eye-opening statistics showing increases in reported mental health difficulties, as well as some warning signs that loved ones might be struggling. Anxiety, depression, substance use disorders – these conditions thrive in isolation. With over 30 years of experience treating these conditions, and with so many of our family, friends, and neighbors suffering right now, we at Creative Care would like to share our expertise and some strategies for staying connected during this difficult time. Maintaining strong connections and good mental health is absolutely essential right now and these tips are both simple and effective.

 

Take Advantage of Technology

With everyone spending so much time on their phones these days, this is an easy means to stay connected with others. While a family group text is certainly an inferior substitute to a big holiday dinner, it’s a much safer way to promote that sense of togetherness that so many of us are desperately craving right now. If you have access to them, video call applications like FaceTime and Whatsapp are an even better alternative. The ability to see smiles and other facial impressions makes a phone call all the more human.

 

Keep Your Head Up and Be the First to Say Hello

One of the things we noticed during the first lockdown almost a year ago was how much more friendly neighbors became with one another. Walkers would say hello to families on porches and waves were exchanged across balconies. We would love to see a return of this. It’s a wonderful way to let each other feel seen and remind us that we’re in this together.

 

Consider Volunteering 

Giving back to the community, contributing to a cause, and becoming part of something bigger than yourself are all excellent means of staying connected. Furthermore, researchers have shown volunteering to be beneficial to mental health.  A 2017 study by Creaven, Healy, and Howard found a strong and positive link between volunteering and depressive symptoms and that “adjusted analyses indicate that this association can be explained by social connectedness.”

 

Stick to Your Routine

Staying connected to others begins with the positive outlook that accompanies a proper self-care routine. During these lockdowns, it’s all too easy to start drinking alcohol more heavily and earlier in the day. We let our healthy diets fall by the wayside. We spend hours binging on Netflix. While these things are fine in moderation, when we indulge in them too heavily, they can promote feelings of isolation and a poor self-image. If you were working out before the lockdown, find a way to keep exercising. If you were meditating, keep meditating. Adhering to our self-care routines keeps us feeling positive and offers a sense of structure during trying times.

 

Innovative, Creative Care

While these strategies can alleviate feelings of isolation and some of the milder symptoms of mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, they are not a substitute for the expertise of a professional. If you or someone you love is struggling with your mental health during the lockdown, consider giving Creative Care a call today. We remain open and committed to providing the innovative, compassionate care we’re known for. Furthermore, we’ve taken the necessary steps to keep our clients both safe and connected during the pandemic. Give us a call today at 855-954-0762.