Current challenges affect mental health

Claire Taylor, Staff Writer

Coronavirus has disrupted many people’s normal routines. Students are not in school every day, many parents are working from home and people have to take precautions to protect themselves. These new challenges can affect a person’s mental health according to health teacher Mike Srodawa. There are many ways students can work to  improve their mental health. Srodawa talks about mental health in his classes. 

“There are different types of mental health disorders. The two that are more common now are depression and anxiety,” Srodawa said.

It is not unusual to experience these and other types of mental health issues such as loneliness and isolation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. It offers ways people can be proactive in taking care of themselves.  

The CDC website suggests people “take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.” 

Junior Katie Hudak has her own ways of de-stressing.

“I like to listen to music when I’m stressed. It helps me relax,” Hudak said. “Over the summer I learned to water ski. It took the stress away from reality.”

In order to help mental health, there has to be a starting point. That can vary from talking to someone or doing things that make one feel better.

“Talking to people helps, along with exercise. It’s important to be social,” Srodawa said. “Talk to our guidance department. Talking helps.”

Right now it can be hard to go out and talk with friends, or do fun things because of COVID-19 and the restrictions put in place to reduce the spread. With another lockdown possibly coming up, that could take a toll on people’s mental health. Srodawa suggests some activities that could help keep a good headspace. 

“Stay in contact with friends, exercise, eat right and get enough sleep. Try to keep a schedule,” Srodawa said. 

Technology has helped people connect despite being apart, and those connections are important.   

Srodawa said, “We all go through tough times and should not be afraid or uncomfortable to talk to someone about what is going on.”

The Devils’ Tale is focusing on Mental Health in the month of December.  Look for more articles and infographics exploring this topic.