COVID-19 has changed the world in many ways. When it comes to mental health in the United States, the CDC reports 31% of adults have had symptoms of anxiety or depression over the past year.
- 13% reported having started or increased substance use
- 26% reported stress-related symptoms
- 11% reported having serious thoughts of suicide in the past 30 days
T hese numbers are nearly double the rates we would have expected before the pandemic.
Closer to home, according to the American Heart Association, 23% of Milwaukee County adults report having a mental health condition. During this time, it is crucial we take care of our entire well-being but especially mental health.
One thing you can control and take action on, to improve your mental health, is positive self-talk. Dr. Alan Chu, from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, has three steps to train the brain into positive self-talk: recognize, re-frame and refocus.
- Recognize the negative self-talk occurring in your mind
- Re-frame those emotions
- Refocus to control your own outcome.
There are also apps such as Headspace and Calm that can help with guided meditation and deep breathing techniques. Even 5 minutes a day will make a tremendous difference but remember the key is practice.
For more in depth mental health information see resources below:
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Mental Health Myths and Facts
- Free Mindful Resources
- Alan Chu