Tuning in to Your Mental Health
We are living through challenging times, and we know many people are experiencing depression, anxiety and stress. This not only impacts mental health, but it can take a toll on your physical well-being and may warrant a conversation with your healthcare provider.
“If stress or depression are keeping you from sleeping or performing daily life functions, you need to seek out help,” said Jennifer Knapp, nurse practitioner at Clinic Sofia. “Making our mental health a priority is critical to living a happy and healthy life.”
She explains that she has had many patients express increased sadness and fatigue since the pandemic began. In addition, the recent murder of George Floyd and civil unrest taking place across the country have triggered powerful emotions in all of us, and for some people that can mean added anxiety or feelings of helplessness.
“There is a lot going on the world right now, and it can be a lot to process,” Knapp said. “It’s important to realize, you are not alone. It’s likely you have friends or family feeling the same way, so it can help to start by talking with them.”
She adds that a healthcare professional can also help stabilize the situation and develop a plan for ongoing support.
“We help with everything from medication recovery to referrals for therapists or other professionals. In addition, our staff is happy to offer tips for self care and resetting your mental health,” said Knapp.
For instance, following are some of the tips she shares:
- Speak up! Don’t be afraid to talk to friends and family. It’s important to have meaningful conversations with those close to you and to keep your support group close.
- Practice basic self-care measures. It’s important to take good care of yourself, focusing on nutrition, exercise and sleep to help with depression or anxiety symptoms.
- Stay active. While it is harder during a pandemic, try to avoid isolation. You can still plan Zoom happy hours with friends, meet up for a walk outside or visit with loved ones.
- Look for ways to practice mindfulness and express gratitude as these are always encouraged when dealing with stress, depression and anxiety.
- Focus on what you can do to make positive change.
- Many things can be done on a local level to support one’s value system or political beliefs. There are many ways to volunteer and get involved.
If you are having feelings of sadness or anxiety, please don’t hesitate to contact your provider at Clinic Sofia.
“Of course, if a patient is really struggling, we encourage them to meet with a therapist,” said Knapp. “But we want all of our patients to know that we are dedicated to acknowledging and listening to their concerns without judgement. We want our patients to feel safe and able to freely discuss their concerns.”