How to cope with mental health, substance abuse during COVID pandemic

Coronavirus Local Impact

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, many people have been feeling isolated and it’s had an effect on their mental health.

Social distancing and the stay-at-home orders caused by COVID-19 have resulted in mental health challenges that include an increase in depression and anxiety. In a survey conducted by the CDC, the organization found that 40 percent of adults aged 18 and over reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition.

Thirty percent of that amount included symptoms of anxiety or depression and 13 percent of that group either started or increased substance use to cope with stress or emotions related to COVID.

Dr. Rahiza Gallardo-Vazquez of the Gándara Center in Springfield told 22News that establishing some sort of routine can be helpful in dealing with these symptoms.

“Do something that makes you happy that day, everyday look for something that will make you improve yourself. One day if you want to be lazy, be lazy. This isn’t a normal situation and sometimes we need to embrace all the situations we have.”

Dr. Rahiza Gallardo-Vazquez

Dr. Gallardo-Vazquez added to contact your therapist or personal care doctor depending on the severity of your symptoms.

Dr. Rahiza Gallardo-Vazquez and the CDC recommend a lot of different coping methods that include exercise meditation, connecting with others via social media, and maintaining a balanced diet and consistent sleep schedule.

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