Staying mindful of mental health during pandemic

Staying mindful of mental health during pandemic

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Among the many challenges that folks are facing this year, mental health is one of them.

Between losing loved ones and keeping away from friends, some mental health experts are saying learning to cope is important.

It’s been roughly a year since the pandemic swept our nation. During this time businesses have closed, socializing has all but halted and with that, problems like depression, anxiety and even domestic abuse have been on the rise.

Brenda Crew, a therapist at Bridgewater Psychiatry, elaborates on what she’s noticed since the pandemic.

“I’ve seen an increase in anxiety depression, worry, part of what I see in private practice because that’s what I do,” Crew said.

She’s seen it manifest in a variety of ways.

“Whether it’s just the individual themselves if they’re worried or stressed about their family members,” she said.

Emotions play a large part in our physical health.

“50 or 60% of doctor’s visits are actually people that go in without a basic physical issue but it’s something that’s involved with emotion or mental health,” Crew said.

With most people losing loved ones to the novel virus, it creates another layer of issues.

“If someone we know has passed, we would know I’m gonna go be at the service and pay my respects. A very different environment and that interferes with our ability to grieve and come to a resolution ourselves,” she said.

However, Crew gave advice on what you can do to combat the mental strains of the pandemic.

“Getting exercise, if that’s just going for a walk. It doesn’t have to be cardio; just savor the moment. I encourage for folks mindfulness,” she said.

Crew explained the importance of stopping to be mindful of your body.

“Realizing am I breathing shallow, am I holding my shoulders up here? Am I holding my jaws tight? You gotta practice these every day,” she said.

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