Making Mental Health A Priority This Fall

  • by Kasey Bubb
  • October 10, 2020

For many, the key to happiness is having something to look forward to whether it's concerts, events, or travel. At 904 Happy Hour, we know this extremely well after years of producing festivals and pouring our hearts into being a resource for things to do in Jacksonville.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in many ways, and one that is perhaps not addressed enough is mental health. It has not only taken away things that people used to look forward to but it has introduced new feelings of uncertainty and isolation, as well as anxiety about things opening back up. We chatted with Holly Redlinger, Licensed Clinical Social Worker for Baptist Behavioral Health about the mental health effects of COVID-19, what to do when you or a friend is experiencing feelings of depression, and where to go for help.

Focus on what you can control because none of us know when this will end or when things will get back to – I don’t like to use the word normal but – how they used to be,” Redlinger explained. But we can get creative and develop skills on how to cope in the meantime and find peace and acceptance in the unknown.

Here are 6 tips for mental health this fall:

  1. Connect with Others: Staying connected with others is crucial during this time. Call up an old friend and find socially distant activities to do with others! Check out our guide on Socially Distanced Approved Fun
  2. Maintain a Schedule: It's important to maintain somewhat of a structured routine at home. Everyone's joking like "I've been in my sweatpants for the last week" but prioritizing your self care and sleep schedule will make a massive difference in your day to day. 
  3. Get Outside and Stay Active: Daily exercise and getting outside has been linked to mental and physical health. Check out our Explore Jax page to discover new places around the 904 to stay active and enjoy the beautiful outdoors our city has to offer! 
  4. Pick up a new skill: It's easy to feel bored and like you don't have anything to do in this new normal. If you find yourself with a little extra time, look at it as an opportunity to learn something new. Pick up a skill like cooking, painting, or playing a musical instrument! 
  5. Limit your news consumption: The sad truth is that a lot of news feeds off of fear. Moderating your news consumption in some way and not letting yourself scroll through it mindlessly is important. This is not only true with the pandemic, but with everything else going on in the world. It's heavy stuff.
  6. Adopt a pet: Owning a pet has been linked to lower stress levels and so much more. Check out the Jacksonville Humane Society's article on 5 Health Benefits of Having a Pet and then explore their pets up for adoption and foster care opportunities!

Thank you to Holly Redlinger from Baptist Health for your advice!

Baptist Health’s 24-Hour Crisis Line 904.202.7900

If you or someone you love is in crisis, seek help immediately at Baptist Health's 24-hour crisis line, or call 911 for immediate assistance.

Request an Appointment 904.376.3800

Baptist Health’s patient coordinator can help you select a mental health professional with the expertise appropriate for your needs.

Mental Health Articles from Baptist Health - Click here

For a full list of Behavioral Health Services from Baptist Health, click here


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