Woman wearing face mask looking into the distance

Mental Impacts of COVID-19

Navigating a Global Pandemic

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the lives of everyone across the world. This unprecedented time brought a lot of uncertainty and even more Zoom meetings. No one could predict how difficult and challenging this period of time would be — but it can be said with confidence that it was, and still is, difficult.

With the virus came social distancing, mask-wearing, extra sanitizing, and quarantining away from loved ones. Scientists and medical professionals worked meticulously to keep everyone safe. People went months, some even the entire year and a half, without seeing their loved ones. Human connection, a basic need, was suddenly only available over the internet.

Through the experience of navigating a global pandemic, one thing is absolutely certain: we as a community are incredibly resilient.

Effects on Mental Health

Since March of 2020, there has been a surge of people reporting symptoms of anxiety, depression, fear, and loneliness. The United States also saw a significant increase in substance use and overdose compared to 2019 as people sought out methods to cope with this challenging time.

With the introduction of the delta variant, times remain unprecedented, challenging, and difficult. The increase of stress and isolation due to social distancing can cause intense emotions such as worry, frustration, and grief. Because of the strong connection between mental health and addiction, these strong emotions can be triggering to those in recovery.

While the world continues to navigate through the pandemic, people may also experience varying symptoms of stress. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of these signs include:

  • Changes in appetite, energy, desires, and interests.
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
  • Increased use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances.
  • Headaches, stomachaches, and body pains.
  • Amplified mental health conditions.

Ways to Cope

Although times of uncertainty can drastically impact one’s mental health, there are healthy coping mechanisms to reduce feelings of stress.

If you find yourself struggling, consider limiting your time watching, reading, or listening to news stories. This may also include cutting back on time spent on social media. Instead, try filling your time with reading books, watching new movies, and exercising. Eating healthy and getting an adequate amount of sleep also helps reduce stress.

Treatment at Chattanooga Recovery Center

High levels of stress can be extremely triggering for those in recovery and can often lead to relapse. It can also lead people to use substances as a coping mechanism. At Chattanooga Recovery Center, we offer comprehensive mental health treatment in addition to our alcohol and drug addiction programs.

If you are in need of addiction and mental health treatment, contact us online, or call (423) 226-5331 today.


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