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2 Your Well-Being: COVID-19 and mental health

Some people may be struggling with reconnecting with others due to COVID-19 and the impact it's had on their emotional and mental wellness.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Flowers and candy maybe be the trend for today, but some people struggle to share a connection in the pandemic. It may have an impact on people's emotional and mental wellness. We want to take this time to step away from talking about chocolate and flowers this Valentine's Day and talk about how important it is to take care of your mental wellness.

For today's 2 Your Well-Being, Dr. David Gutterman, licensed clinical psychologist and clinical director of LeBauer Behavioral Medicine, and licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Jenna Mendelson gave their insight into the importance of mental wellness. 

Dr. Mendelson said emotions are physical experiences. These experiences can have a significant impact on our physical health. A 2018 study found 30% of heart attacks came from stress. Dr. Gutterman said COVID-19 has significantly impacted our mental health. There have been large spikes in depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. As the virus progresses, Dr. Gutterman said that the uncertainty and the changing information are frustrating and could lead to even more stress. 

Dr. Mendelson said COVID-19 affects children differently than adults. Data shows children are less impacted by social isolation because they've had family around them. Instead, they are more vulnerable to stress from their parents. 

Dr. Gutterman offered three suggestions to help with mental wellness. First, take care of your body. Be sure to get sleep and exercise. Eat healthily, avoid drugs and alcohol, and avoid screen time. Then, take care of your mind. That means staying busy and maintaining positive thoughts. Third, connect with others and do what you can to help others. 

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