COVID-19 Takes Toll on Mom’s Mental Health (PKG)

Meet a mother-of-two who’s coping with anxiety and depression while navigating the highs and lows of the coronavirus pandemic.

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CLEVELAND – The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t just impacted how we live and work, but it’s also taking a toll on some people’s mental health.

Cera Flynn has always tried to make mental health a priority, but the coronavirus pandemic has made it harder to manage her anxiety and depression.

“COVID has definitely impacted our life in many ways,” she said.

At one point, Cera was caring for her husband who had COVID-19, their terminally ill puppy, and trying to help her twin boys learn remotely – on top of working full time coaching teachers.

“In the moment, I think I was definitely just feeling overwhelmed. I was exhausted, I was beyond exhausted, I don’t even know if I could say I was depressed,” Flynn recalls. “I was just so overwhelmed and exhausted that I didn’t know what I was feeling to be honest.”

Flynn said, at times, she survived on auto pilot, just trying to get through the day. But her psychologist was quick to remind her that she needs to take care of herself too.

“She had an incredibly full plate and what we’ve worked on is for her to really try and balance it as best as she could while prioritizing her own needs without a feeling of guilt,” said Flynn’s psychologist, Adam Borland, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Borland said deep breathing can help the mind focus on the present. Being outdoors and talking to family, friends or a professional can also be therapeutic.

“I will always tell people that talking to somebody, having that person, that safe person to talk to about what you’re thinking and feeling is so important,” Flynn said. “And not just for people who struggle with anxiety, in the world that we live in today, it’s beneficial to anybody.”

If people are seeking mental health services, Dr. Borland said many providers are offering both in-person and virtual appointments.

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