Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit us all...and it hit us all hard. From the massive loss of life to the toll on the global economy, this pandemic will have long-term effects on society, some of which have yet to even be discovered. One notable effect is the impact on our mental health.
Loneliness and social isolation are often mistaken as passing emotions that self-correct over time, but this is not always the case. Aging experts found that the impact of chronic loneliness and social isolation can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and deem it a public health epidemic. According to the National Institute on Aging, loneliness and social isolation increase the risk of mental health conditions like depression and cognitive impairment, and physical conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease. The impact is even greater in older adults in the United States as nearly half (46%) of the senior population struggles with social isolation.
Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder
Mental Health is a Key Aspect of Overall Wellness and USFHP has its Members Covered from Head to Toe
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) also known as the “Winter Blues” is a type of clinical depression triggered by the change in the seasons. While most often onset by the lack of sunlight, cold weather, and gloomy overcast days typical of the late autumn as it leads into the long winter, SAD can also be set off during the early spring and early summer in some cases.
With the recent passing of the fall equinox, now is the time to be in regular tune with your state of presence and mindfulness and that means also being on the lookout for seasonal symptoms of affective decline. These include regular feelings of depression, sluggishness, tiredness, and general lack of energy, oversleeping, dramatic change in weight and appetite, craving for sugar and carbs, loss of interest, difficulty concentrating, feelings of hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts.
Over two thirds of people with mental health disorders receive no treatment, and of those that do, a significant number receive inadequate care. Much of the lack of proper mental care is hinged on misguided social stigmas that treat psychological challenges as weak, shameful, or superficial. While some may not even be aware of the presence of these challenges, without seeking diagnosis most will try to stick it out on their own. With USFHP you don’t have to face the Winter Blues alone. Here are some tips to help keep you on point when combating weeks and months of short days and gray skies.
Healthy Diet - Regular maintenance of a well-balanced diet will provide energy and mental acuity, preventing tired, sluggish, and uninspired moods. It will also prevent the potential for dramatic weight shifts, and help control the appetite.
Physical Activity - Physical activity is a must when combating the blues as it increases the release of endorphins that brighten your mood, prevents massive weight changes, and improves circulation to the brain for mental clarity.
Proper Mental Healthcare - Let’s not forget about mental care. If you are feeling down and out during the fall and winter months, seek professional help with mental care treatment that can help you work through the darkness and keep you in the light until the sun shines again.
In line with current efforts to tear down the negative stereotypes surrounding psychological challenges, USFHP prioritizes mental health—covering our TRICARE Prime members from head to toe with mental care protection. We also offer exclusive enhanced benefits options like $250 annual gym membership reimbursements to keep a healthy, active lifestyle in play and push the Winter Blues away.
Call now at 1-800-241-4848 and let us get you covered.
Today, most of us already know that over-consuming processed sugar is generally unhealthy. And while we know that sugary drinks, like soda or fruit juice, are bad for us, we still often overlook the health danger in favor of good taste or “refreshing” flavor.