While the pandemic presents grave health threats for Americans (and all global citizens), there are peripheral conditions that may actually dwarf actual coronavirus deaths. For millions of us, the stress of job loss, quarantine, anxiety, and isolation may end up being a greater direct threat than the actual coronavirus itself.
Having said that, those of us with serious health conditions are at risk of not getting the care they need during this time. This includes people struggling with a cancer diagnosis, cardiovascular disease, mental health problems, and a wide variety of other life-threatening illnesses or injuries.
That’s why people need to stay as healthy as possible during this time. The following is a brief overview of three areas to keep a close watch on during this winter season.
Complications with serious health treatments
Let’s not forget that millions of people are dealing with and being treated for serious illnesses that are not pandemic-related, but their treatment and health are nevertheless complicated and jeopardized by the social/business ramifications of COVID-19. People with serious illnesses, including life-threatening conditions like cancer, are most likely able to still get the appointments and treatment they need during this time, but their schedules and finances may be pushed to the limit.
Perhaps the caregiver who normally treats them is sick or the health provider that employs them has cut back on employees. Perhaps the patient’s finances are messed up due to COVID-19 and they can no longer afford their healthcare premiums or copayments.
Cancer patients may still be able to get their primary treatments while still experiencing compounded financial troubles that threaten their ongoing recovery. For cases such as these, especially when the patients cannot eat food, the natural anti-inflammatory compounds found in a DMSO treatment may help with nutritional health.
Managing mental health while isolated
The toll taken on people with mental health troubles has been particularly brutal during the pandemic. Feelings of isolation, alienation, depression, and anxiety are at all-time highs. Additionally, the virus itself may create or worsen mental health conditions. For this reason, it is incredibly important to manage your mental health during this time.
If you take medication for depression, for example, don’t let your prescription(s) expire. Make sure you keep in contact with your doctors so that they can mail you your prescription or call it into a pharmacy. If you take medication for anxiety, similarly, make sure you stay on top of your refills. The pharmacies have their own complications during this time so you want to be sure to give them plenty of time to fill your prescription.
A big part of mental health is physical health. After all, the mind is part of the body and relies on the body for blood, nutrients, neurotransmitters, oxygen, and, well, everything.
To keep up your mental health, you need to make sure your body is healthy. This means eating right – getting plenty of whole foods and nutrients – and exercising to release those endorphins.
While it may be harder for you to go to the gym (what with pandemic restrictions and all) or jog in the winter air, there are plenty of ways to get exercise, break a sweat, and replenish your brain’s neurochemistry.
Fostering healthy interpersonal relationships
While you may feel claustrophobic stuck inside with your family, your health needs to maintain good relationships during this time. If you’re married, make sure your marriage is on solid ground. If you have kids, make sure they’re doing okay. Your family needs you just as much as you need them.
If you’re single and alone, check in with friends and do some Zoom calls. As we mentioned above, mental health is very important to overall health. And interpersonal relationships play a big role in mental health. In fact, our interpersonal relationships and the social environment we occupy may be one of the biggest factors in conditions like depression and anxiety.
There’s no strict set of guidelines that can keep you happy during this time, but it’s important to monitor yourself and your family to make sure you have everything you need. We’re going through a historic crisis and it’s all hands on deck.