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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a large effect on almost every aspect of our day-to-day lives. It can be easy to forget that the pandemic has made massive changes not only in the world at large but in our minds as well. Mental health is important, now more than ever, and it is crucial to be aware of how the pandemic is affecting yourself and those around you. We are going to take a look at some of the most common ways the pandemic has affected people’s mental health.
Stress levels during the pandemic are much higher in people than normal, and these new levels of stress affect everyone differently. Many people are experiencing insomnia, a sleep disorder in which people have trouble sleeping. Insomnia can affect different parts of the sleep cycle. Some people experience insomnia as difficulty falling asleep, others have difficulty staying asleep, and some may experience both.
A lack of sleep has a massive impact on your mental health. Insomnia sufferers can experience low energy, daytime sleepiness, irritability and symptoms of depression. For mild cases of insomnia, there are a variety of methods people can try at home to correct the issue. Establishing a regular sleep schedule, avoiding the use of stimulants (such as alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine), and abstaining from physically and mentally demanding activities close to bedtime can help.
With our regular routines disrupted and feelings of helplessness, boredom, and loneliness setting in, many people have increased their use of recreational substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis, in order to cope with the pandemic. This increase in usage can occur regardless of whether or not a person has a pre-existing substance abuse issue.
Similar to life before the pandemic, controlled or limited usage of recreational substances can be acceptable, but regulating usage in the pandemic is difficult. Substance abuse issues are immensely challenging to face alone, but the journey to recovery can be made easier with the help of a mental health and addictions support worker.
Regular social interaction is an important part of maintaining mental health. The pandemic has made it much more difficult for people to stay social. People who once regularly interacted with friends, family, coworkers, and other acquaintances, are now in varying degrees of isolation. With fewer opportunities for socializing, people have to go to greater efforts to meet their social needs. These conditions can have an adverse effect on people, and actually cause them to engage in less social activities or even completely socially isolate.
Social isolation exacerbates the stress and anxiety that are already inherent in these difficult times. Helping people who are isolating themselves from contact is difficult, but this is another situation in which a mental health support worker can put their skills to use. Our mental health and addictions support worker program provides students with the skills to identify warning signs of mental health issues. Being able to recognize the warning signs can allow preventative measures to be employed to prevent an issue from becoming even more serious.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on our collective mental health and it will continue to affect us for some time. There is always a need for mental health and addictions support workers, but that need is even greater now. Being a support worker of this kind is challenging, and it requires a great deal of empathy and patience. At the end of the day, seeing the positive results of your work firsthand is incredibly rewarding. Apply to the Mental Health and Addictions Support Worker Certificate program and build a career in compassion.