Maintaining Emotional Health and Wellbeing During COVID-19

Rutgers University

A year after the pandemic outbreak a Rutgers expert describes the signs of emotional distress and the steps to treat it

As the pandemic enters its second year, the toll on emotional health is still being felt across country.

According to a recent Pew Poll, three-in-ten people say the COVID-19 outbreak has changed their lives in a major way, with 21 percent of U.S. adults still experiencing high levels of psychological distress a year later.

Stephanie Marcello, chief psychologist at Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, who directs workshops on emotional health, provides insight into psychological distress and says in order to recognize signs of emotional stress in others, you must first recognize your own suffering and address personal mental health issues.

What are the signs of emotional suffering?

One sign is a change in personality: Are you or someone you know not acting in a typical way? For example, people might appear angry or anxious or have trouble sleeping. They may not be participating in activities as they did in the past and could be withdrawn from their typical social interactions. Another sign is poor self-care, which can include hygiene as well as other concerns like an increase in substance use. If you recognize hopelessness, grief or guilt, you or the other person may need to seek support from a professional.

What can you do if you sense emotional suffering in yourself or others?

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