Sure, we've all experienced the stress of the pandemic—but could there be a silver lining?
Main Line Health psychologist David Charny, PsyD, suggests we stop comparing this year to the last, and so on. Even though we're still dealing with the uncertainties of COVID, we've grown along the way.
The pandemic, Charny says, has made people more resilient and can help prepare us for whatever lies ahead. He talks with Tamala Edwards of 6abc about how to be mentally healthy amid the ongoing pandemic.
Watch the 6abc Art of Aging video segment with Tamala Edwards
Mental health check-up and checklist
Dr. Charny suggests keeping an eye out for certain changes in behavior or mood that may signal a mental health concern. These include:
- Low or anxious mood
- Change in appetite (overeating or not hungry)
- Change in sleep patterns
- Loss of interest or enjoyment in things you like to do
Charny states that these fluctuations can often be dealt with by a simple plan, such as socializing with friends and increasing physical activity. When making a mental health goal, be sure it's a SMART one—Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Time-oriented.
Keep in mind you don't have to manage mental health alone. In fact, Main Line Health offers mental health provider support in 20 of its primary care locations as well behavioral health outpatient locations throughout the western suburbs of Philadelphia.
Charny says that oftentimes, however, mental health conversations begin in the primary care provider's office because that's where patients already have a trusted relationship.