By Flora Welsh
Mental Health Colorado
The colder months are here, driving many of us indoors. The stress of one of the most contentious elections in our nation’s history has left us feeling divided and frustrated. And coronavirus numbers are surging, affecting everyone’s mental health.
According to a recent report from Mental Health America, our mental health needs are growing and our harmful substance use is on the rise.
As the days get darker, many of us experience seasonal depression, even in the best of times. This year, it goes beyond seasonal depression. Watch out for your mental health. Watch out for the mental health of your friends and family.
Here are some things you can do to help keep yourself and others well:
• Reach out to people, let them know how you’re feeling.
Don’t forget to go outside — even when it’s cold. Take a walk around the block to clear your mind and get some fresh air and sunshine. Just remember to bundle up first.
• Exercise. There are free classes you can take online if it’s too cold outside and you don’t feel comfortable going to the gym. Find a 30-day fitness challenge and stick to it.
• Schedule time with your loved ones. If you can’t meet in person, put a weekly coffee or tea date on the calendar and stick to it. We need each other now more than ever.
• Limit screen time. Put a date on the calendar for a 24-hour social media detox. Studies show increased mental health concerns directly correlate with social media usage.
Resources: Colorado Crisis Service: (844) 493-8255 or visit its website.
Many insurance providers are offering telehealth for mental health. If you have insurance, start by calling your provider to get connected with a mental health professional. Some other options for getting connected with a therapist are resources like Sondermind or Open Path Collective.
On our free resource website page, you can find online activities that bring us joy are wonderful ways to take care of ourselves. We also list resources related to housing, financial, and health concerns/questions.
We’re in this together. Never forget, you are not alone. Remember to breathe. Focus on what you can control. And don’t miss this chance to practice active kindness to all.
About Mental Health
Mental Health Colorado is the state’s leading advocate in promoting mental wellness, ending shame and discrimination, and ensuring equitable access to mental health and substance use care. Mental Health Colorado is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and an affiliate of Mental Health America.