The Transformation Of Our Health
It is no secret that the COVID 19 pandemic has had a significant impact on people's stress and mental health. This impact has translated to increased anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, trouble eating, weight gain, inflammation of preexisting chronic conditions, and increased substance abuse. 4 out of 10 Americans* now say they have experienced either anxiety or depression, up from 1 in 10 prior to 2020. 61% of adults* claim they have experienced unwanted weight changes since the start of the pandemic. And our younger counterparts (18-24 yrs), well, they too have had a tough go of it, with 56% of them reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression disorder due to the closures of universities and schools and loss of income or employment.
Needless to say, the impacts of the pandemic are not a frivolous matter when it comes to our health. In our opinion, it has become even more crucial that we take care of ourselves AND each other right now. The pandemic will eventually recede, but our bodies, brains, and health are all things we will still have with us long after the crush of COVID has begun to fade.
If you have been following our blogs over the last several months, you know that we have selected the word Transformative as our theme for 2020-21. While the negative transformative impacts of the pandemic on our health are glaring, we also believe that there are a few positive impacts as well. . One of these positive effects is that it has provided us an opportunity to slow down and bring our well-being into focus. More people have had to stop and think about their health and wellness, where they are going with it, and what they should be doing to improve it. Additionally, the recent rollout of the COVID vaccine has stimulated many conversations about health and the role scientific developments play within this arena. This attention, and these conversations, might be one of the few positive transformative impacts we see.
While people are more conscientious about washing hands, maintaining space, and cutting out needless large gatherings, there are additional steps to consider for positive transformative impacts on our health. Some of these could be: taking more walks or trying new exercise routines, spending more time in meditation or journaling, connecting with just one friend or family member every day, adding gratitude moments in your journals, finding new creative outlets, preparing meals that uplift your mind and soul, and addressing your real feelings head-on by seeking additional support with life coaches, counselors, clergy etc. as needed. If you have specific methods for maintaining positive health, feel free to share a post on the League Facebook or LinkedIn page.
Our hearts break for the families and loved ones who have been impacted by this pandemic. There is mental and physical stress for everyone in our worldwide communities. If you are interested in positively transforming your community's health, see our blog 7 Ways to Give Back to Your Community Today! here. Overall, we hope this year is a time of positive transformative behaviors in your own health and well-being.
* American Psychological Association. (2021, March 11). One year later, a new wave of pandemic health concerns. http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2021/one-year-pandemic-stress
* Kamal, R., Panchal, N., Cox, C., & Garfield, R. (2021, February 10). The implications of Covid-19 for mental health and substance use. Retrieved March 30, 2021, from https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/the-implications-of-covid-19-for-mental-health-and-substance-use/
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