Stay Home Stay Safe- Self Treatment Blog Series Mental Health Coping Strategies during the Coronavirus

Stress, Panic, Shame, Phobia, Depression, Anxiety – COVID-19 and our Mental Health

Have you been feeling isolated, lonely, or overwhelmed by racing thoughts lately? Well, you’re not alone. Many of us are working through complicated feelings as our lives shift into unfamiliar territory due to the Coronavirus. Whether your concerns revolve around the future, your health, financial stability, or social isolation, it’s vital to address these feelings productively and positively right away.

COVID-19 is gripping our planet, and many local and national governments have enacted a stay at home order to help mitigate the risk of spreading this highly contagious virus. At the time of writing this blog, roughly 90% of Americans have been ordered to shelter in place, so please understand you are absolutely not alone in these feelings. A striking 1 in 10 Americans have been reported to suffer from depression before this pandemic; we’d be willing to bet that this number will climb in the near future.

If you are unable to leave the house, learning new ways to cope with anxiety, depression, and stress at home can be a turning point. In this week’s installment of our blog series, Stay Home Stay Safe- Self Treatment, we’re discussing mental health and how to swap out harmful coping mechanisms for a more positive approach, right in your home.

Stress Reduction- A Pillar of The Hache Protocol ™

Recently, mental health problems have been dubbed an “epidemic within a pandemic,” and experts are working diligently to provide healthy coping mechanisms for us all. We at Pain Free For Life have always holistically approached healthcare, incorporating mind, body, and spirit into our treatment protocols. The Hache Protocol for Pain Resolution™ was developed with a holistic lens to incorporate five interactive elements that will promote optimum health and function of your body. Stress reduction is a pillar of this protocol and essential for overall health.

Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

Leaving negative thoughts to manifest is not only dangerous for your peace of mind but also your health. A couple of weeks back, we discussed how elevated cortisol due to prolonged stress could diminish immune function.

Unfortunately, many people are using unhealthy coping mechanisms to try and mask their mental health problems right now and leading themselves down a dark spiral; this is difficult to climb out of. The latest reports have shown alcohol sales in the first week of April 2020 spiked by 55% in the United States!

Empty liquor shelves as sales spike

Look out for patterns of these types of behavior to avoid falling into the trap of harmful coping mechanisms:

  • Avoidance- Ignoring the signals your body is sending you that something isn’t right.
  • Escapism- It is important to sit with and process through difficult situations and train your body to understand that you can self soothe. If you flee a stressful situation every time you encounter one, your body will learn that this is your only solution.
  • Binge Drinking- As we previously stated, alcohol sales have skyrocketed, indicating that many people are reaching for mind-altering substances to mask their feelings. Drinking brings with it a host of health problems, and in the end, nothing gets solved. You are simply putting off dealing with your feelings for a short period of time.
  • Disordered Eating- This can look like overeating, undereating, or constantly seeking comfort in food.
  • Sleeping the Day Away- It is possible to sleep too much. Often people suffering from depression unknowingly use oversleeping as a way of avoiding their problems.

Positive Mental Health Coping Strategies during the Coronavirus

Now that we’ve outlined behaviors to look out for, let’s look at how to counteract some of these unhelpful coping mechanisms with a healthier and more positive approach! If you have identified any of the previous behaviors as something you’ve been doing, don’t fret! We’re all just trying our best to work through this challenging time. Now isn’t the time to be hard on yourself.

What’s important is knowing that these behaviors are a warning sign that you should seek out some new ways to promote mental well being. There are several easy and approachable ways you can do this right in your own home.

Eating Well

Are you finding comfort in your favorite snacks or baked goods? That’s great! But don’t overdo it. Eating a balanced diet is vital to keeping your mental health on track. Conversely, you may find that you have a lack of appetite when feeling depressed, stressed, or anxious. Make sure you are still getting the nutrients your body and brain need to thrive by stocking up on healthy foods you enjoy, so they are right at your fingertips. To learn more about the positive correlation between your health and nutrition, read our blog, click here.

Sleeping Well

Getting proper rest is key to staying healthy but sleeping all day can stoke feelings of depression and anxiety. It can be tempting to hide away in your bed all day when things get tough, but it’s important to stay active and remind yourself you can accomplish so much!

If you’re having trouble sleeping, avoid reaching for prescription and over the counter sleep aids. Depending on the drug, you could be inviting a range of harmful side effects. Instead, try a natural approach with Sana Therapeutics Tea: Sleep Blend. This natural tea is enjoyable to drink and will help you calm your nervous system and settle in for a good night’s rest. To learn more about choosing a natural sleep aid, read our blog, The Science of Sleep: How A Good Night’s Rest Affects Autoimmune Diseases.

Bring the Gym into Your Home

Even though the gym may be closed, you can still benefit from the positive mental health benefits of moderate exercise. As we discussed in our blog, exercise promotes the production of endorphins in your body. Endorphins are known as the “feel-good hormone” and spur the release of proteins called neurotrophic or growth factors. According to Harvard University, this process triggers nerve cells to grow and make new connections, improving brain function, thus making you feel better. Check out our blog, 8 Exercises for People in Pain, to learn some easy home workouts that will have you forgetting about the gym.

Microcurrent for Mental Wellbeing

As we outlined in our blog, 7 Surprising Uses for Microcurrent Therapy, microcurrent therapy has been a breakthrough treatment for mental health problems like depression, anxiety, stress, and PTSD. Let’s look at some of the most successful treatments for our patients.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation- The 10th cranial nerve, called the Vagus nerve, controls your body’s stress response. Stimulating this important neural highway with a device like the Avazzia Life Evolution or the Avazzia Pro Sport III has been a turning point forour patients suffering from anxiety, depression, and stress. This treatment is gentle enough to use on children. Read more about how it helped a young patient of ours achieve relaxation in our blog, Microcurrent Case Study: Ryker’s Vision for Success. The beauty of this treatmentis that it can be done right at home with no appointments, no waiting rooms, and no side effects.

Conductive Ear Clips Pairing Conductive Ear Clips will ensure your microcurrent device delivers the essential algorithms for relaxation through the ears. Combat feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression by calming the peripheral nervous system and stimulating reflexology points to trigger a body-wide calming response. Ear clips are an affordable accessory that will also promote deep, healing sleep.

Staying in Touch Is Essential

At a time when many of us are feeling isolated and struggling with difficult feelings, it is vital to keep the lines of communication open with your support system. Whether it be an online counselor, your friends, family, or our Pain Free for Life Support Group on Facebook, make an effort to stay in touch with your network. Stress management tools and support are the keys to treating mental and emotional health during the coronavirus pandemic at home, and we hope we have aided in finding some that work for you.