CLEVELAND – The COVID-19 pandemic took a big toll on many people’s mental health. However, some also became more resilient.
Susan Albers, PsyD, psychologist for Cleveland Clinic said it’s one of many positive changes to come out of the last couple of years.
“Cognitively this is really important for the future,” she said. “This helps people to not fear change or bad things happening because they know they can cope with it, have social support and they can adapt to the situation.”
Dr. Albers said the pandemic also triggered more conversations about mental health, which helped reduce stigmas.
In addition, many people had to find new ways to cope if they couldn’t go to the gym or connect with family and friends.
Dr. Albers said research shows some still continue with these new habits even now that the restrictions have ended.
Another benefit was people learned how to say no and set boundaries.
For example, if they didn’t want to go somewhere they had no problem speaking up about it and that seems to have continued.
Dr. Albers said on a similar note, people have also adjusted their social connections to fit more with what they like.
“Individuals have also looked at their work environment. They have come up with new solutions, new ways of working that they never even fathomed before,” she said. “It has helped people to take a look at their environment and to set it up in a way that works for them and their families, which has helped to alleviate a lot of mental health issues and stress.”
And finally, Dr. Albers said technology was used for good during the pandemic with virtual therapy appointments becoming more widely available for mental health.