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Mental Health in the Month of May

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness; and every year the goal is to educate the public and advocate policies that support people with mental illness and their families. At this time, our nation has been shut down and many are coping with stress and anxiety due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children because of the fear of the unknown. Some people have lost their jobs, which has put a lot of strain on families because of a lack of income and many have been unsuccessful in obtaining unemployment. Other people are working remotely and assisting their children attending school virtually, this can also be debilitating while being in isolation. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.

How you respond to the current situation we are facing is dependent upon the things that make you different from other people. I am grateful to God for my faith in Him that makes me focus more on the problem solver than the problem of this virus. I have been spending more time praying and reading my bible to cope with stress and anxiety, believing that God is going to turn things around and give us a new beginning. Nevertheless, I am learning how to be flexible in uncertain times in which we all can adapt in getting acclimated to a new normal.

There are ways too that we can all cope with stress and anxiety by taking breaks from watching, reading, or listening to the news, including social media because hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting. We can take care of our body by plenty of rest, exercising, eating 2-3 well-balanced meals per day, and keeping hydrated; making time to unwind with doing enjoyable activities, and connecting with others by talking out your problems with those you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

As we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s continue to encourage individuals to seek professional guidance if they are experiencing any emotions that interrupt their everyday living because there are valuable resources available to those in need. Remember, we are all in this together. You are not alone!


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