Local public health officials are calling attention to the long-term effects of living through a pandemic and are encouraging residents to engage in activities that address physical and mental wellness.
Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services Behavioral Health Director Emi Botzler-Rodgers said when COVID-19 started, many of us expected to be impacted for a few weeks or months. Now that it’s been more than seven months, she said people are exhausted and wondering if there is an end in sight.
“Pandemic fatigue is real and takes a toll,” Botzler-Rodgers said. “It is so important to continue to connect with other people in ways that are safe. It is also critical to care for ourselves with healthy eating, rest and exercise.”
Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said that some people may find they are struggling to stay motivated to follow recommended prevention strategies over this long period of time. “It’s just as important to embrace healthy coping strategies as it is to practice preventive measures, and we hope that people do both,” she said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledges people react differently to stressful situations and encourages the following healthy coping strategies:
- Take care of your emotional health. Taking care of your emotional health will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family.
- Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories, including those on social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body. Practices can include taking deep breaths, stretching or meditating; eating healthy, well-balanced meals; exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep and avoiding excessive alcohol and drug use.
- Make time to unwind. Try to engage in some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Connect with your community or faith-based organizations. Consider connecting online, through social media, by phone or mail.
“It is abundantly valuable to engage in activities that renew and infuse health into your body, mind and spirit,” Botzler-Rodgers said. “Spend time outdoors and breathe. Be kind to yourself and one another. We are all in this together and that is how we will get through it — together.”
For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 707-441-5000.
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