As we continue to move through the phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to acknowledge the lasting effects. Our new survey shows nearly half of Americans are struggling to find ways to maintain their whole health (i.e., physical, mental, and spiritual health) during this time. However, it's not all bad news.
1. Prioritize Self-Care
The vast majority of U.S. adults (80%) say they will be more mindful about practicing self-care regularly once the pandemic is over. This is a good thing for long-term health.
Sixty-four percent of participants are now more focused on their mental health and many are focused on healthy habits. The time at home has allowed the ability to do creative activities, pray more, engage in meaningful conversations, spend more time outdoors, and eat healthier food.
I encourage you to continue practicing self and spiritual care moving forward. My blog has a variety of articles and tools dedicated to practicing self-care:
When Less Means More: Less Medical Care Means More Self-Care
How to Prioritize Self-Care So You Can Be a Better Caregiver To Those You Love
Resources to Support a Healthy Immune System Right Now
As restrictions are lifted, step carefully into the "new normal" in terms of social interactions. Continue the positive life changes you've made to improve your general mental and physical health. Stay in touch with others, take walks outside, use your new-found recipes, and reach out to medical providers in new ways.
2. Healthcare is More Accessible
If you've put preventive care on the back burner to avoid going into a physician's office, you're not alone - more than half the people in our survey felt scared about getting care. Still, many physicians are now doing video or phone visits and only inviting patients into the office if necessary. Your health is as important now as it was before the virus struck, so stay connected to your physicians and care team.
3. Self-Isolation Runs Deeps
Forty-seven percent of those surveyed continue to feel socially isolated despite the use of technology. The effects of isolation may not ease for some, or it may increase. Compounding the effects are the increase in unemployment, which is difficult in the best of times. Needing to stay homebound and find a job in a harsh economy can take a huge toll on a person. Also, summer traditions that typically connect families will be altered. Some friends may become more secluded if they no longer feel comfortable having people over or going to others'' homes despite restrictions becoming more relaxed. Disconnects on readiness to reopen may even cause family conflicts. Tempers may flare. Our recent blog post on Coping with Social Isolation has several ideas and resources for coping with loneliness as the world reopens.
I hope these resources help you and your family as we continually work towards healing.