USC News: COVID-19-fueled anxiety and depression peaked in early April, then declined. “As Americans nationwide hunkered down during stay-at-home orders and tens of millions of workers lost their jobs, 40% of U.S. residents reported feeling anxious and 29% felt depressed in early April. By late May, that percentage had dropped to 27% who felt anxious and 25% who felt depressed. The survey found that 1 in 3 people said they felt lonely, up from 1 in 5 who reported feeling lonely prior to COVID-19.” I hate to find yet another thing for which I am behind schedule.
Seattle PI: As mental illness rates rise, 68% of Americans say social media, news cause anxiety during pandemic. “As social media has increasingly become a source of information about the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study from Digital Third Coast is giving insight into how much news Americans are consuming during the virus and how it’s affecting mental health. By analyzing a survey of over 2,000 Americans, the study illuminated how news consumption has dramatically increased during the pandemic. Sixty-six percent of respondents said they are consuming more news than usual, and 40% said their social media use has increased since the start of the pandemic.”
The Next Web: Disney debuts Zenimation, which mixes soothing sounds with familiar art. “Disney today launched its latest series, called Zenimation, a collection of shorts that combine the company’s animation with some soothing sound effects.”
The Scotsman: Why people are flocking online for Scottish ‘therapy sheep’. “Now, what was already one of Scotland’s most idiosyncratic tourist attractions has devised a bespoke solution to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, allowing people to take part in online meditation sessions alongside three Herdwick sheep.”
Dallas Morning News: Dallas therapists already seeing ‘pandemic of a mental health crisis,’ and Texas is dead last in fighting back. “As the coronavirus crisis drags into another month, an Oak Cliff-based nonprofit that’s long been devoted to healing the social-emotional wounds of children and their families can sense the pandemic ratcheting up pressure to the rupturing point: A job stripped away from a mother already struggling to feed her kids. An adolescent’s faltering foothold on stability as tensions turn to blows between his parents. The zombie-like shutting down of a 5-year-old after a family member’s coronavirus death.”
Reuters: Google announces company holiday on May 22 to stem virus burnout. “Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Friday it has asked employees to take a day off on May 22, to address work-from-home-related burnout during the coronavirus pandemic. Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai announced the move in a memo to employees on late Thursday, which was first reported by CNBC.”
University of Saskatchewan: Feeling COVID-19 stress? Video games could be the cure, says USask computer scientist. “For a brief moment, all thoughts of quarantine, COVID-19 infection, and unrelenting uncertainty melt into the background noise of the video game. Playing video games may be the salve we need for our mental health during the pandemic, according to University of Saskatchewan (USask) computer scientist Dr. Regan Mandryk (PhD), who studies how video games can promote mental wellness. ”
NPR: Flood Of Calls And Texts To Crisis Hotlines Reflects Americans’ Rising Anxiety. “America’s crisis centers and hotlines are themselves in crisis. As people grapple with fear, loneliness and grief, on a grand scale, those stresses are showing up at crisis hotlines. Not only are the needs greater, but their clients’ problems are more acute and complex and offer a window into the emotional struggles Americans face. Across the board, hotlines of all kinds are reporting increases in volume.”
New York Times: Therapists and Patients Find Common Ground: Virus-Fueled Anxiety. “On a good day, New York City is awash in its neuroses, a tightly wound place where a wide assortment of sky-scraping anxieties can build to an almost comic crescendo. But with the coronavirus pandemic grinding on, that angst has reached new heights. Many New Yorkers are cloistered in their homes, often jammed tight with family or roommates; others must report to work in a contaminated city. They are dealing with isolation and fear; some have lost their jobs. Others are sick or in grief. It can be overwhelming, even for the mental health professionals tasked with easing such problems.”
BBC: Coronavirus lockdown: Can nature help improve our mood?. “While the impact of experiencing nature on our physical health is less well documented, a wealth of studies have demonstrated the positive effects of the natural world on our mental health. Even a brief nature fix – 10 minutes of wind brushing across our cheek, or the sun on our skin – can lower stress, explains Dr Mathew White, from the University of Exeter. If we immerse ourselves in beautiful landscapes, like a rich coastline or a wild forest teeming with an array of species, we feel more intense emotions, he adds.”
Canada’s National Observer: ‘COVID-19 kills in many ways’: The suicide crisis facing health-care workers. “In New York City, as in other hard-hit locations, health-care providers have been forced to work exhausting hours, often in overcrowded and under-resourced settings, with no clear end in sight, all while dealing with the fear of exposing themselves or their families to the virus. Without adequate protective gear, some New York City doctors describe going to work every day as a ‘suicide mission.’ At the same time, as hospitals have filled up with sick and dying patients, doctors have been left with the burden of making excruciating decisions about rationing life-saving medical equipment and watching as their colleagues fall ill and even die from the virus. These front-line health-care workers bear constant witness to the human toll of the pandemic. And, all too often, they become part of it.”
Washington Post: Voices from the Pandemic: ‘I apologize to God for feeling this way.’. “If I get this virus, I’m afraid it would be the end of me. I’m 75. I’ve got all I can handle already with my asthma, fibromyalgia and an autoimmune disorder. The best way for me to survive is by sitting in my house for however many weeks or months it’s going to take. But how many computer games can you play before you start to lose it? How many mysteries can you read? I realize time is supposed to be precious, especially since mine is short, but right now I’m trying every trick I know to waste time away.”
Vice: ‘Allostatic Load’ Is the Psychological Reason for Our Pandemic Brain Fog. “My days have been reduced to the bare minimum. I work in drips and chunks of time, keeping my energy up with M&Ms and frequent Youtube breaks. I scrounge together leftovers for lunch, creating what I ambitiously call Grazing Plates. In reality, it’s a pear hacked into pieces and four olives piled on a handful of dry Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I have done yoga twice, and I felt undeniably smug about it. I’m doing so much less than I’m used to, and I’m so tired. Turns out, I’m not alone. Nancy Sin, assistant professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, says that in stressful situations like this, there are physiological responses in our bodies.”
Phys .org: Researchers offer ways to address life under COVID-19. “An international team of researchers has outlined ways to manage different facets of life under the spread of the COVID-19 virus, ranging from how we can combat racially driven bias and fake news to how we can increase cooperation and better manage stress. Its work, which appears in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, considers research stretching over the past half century to offer insights about how to address current circumstances.”
Chronicle-Tribune: New website provides Hoosiers free expert mental health resources during COVID-19. “The site is designed to address the increase in anxiety, depression and other mental health issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including both first-time issues as well as preexisting mental health concerns.” This is for residents of Indiana.