Lake Regional Health System | Thrive | Fall 2020

4 | Fall 2020 mental health Y ou’re preoccupied and having difficulty focusing. Your sleep isn’t great. And you aren’t eating as well as you know you should. You are stressed, but who isn’t these days? “It’s possible to become so used to chronic stress that we forget it’s not normal,” says Neil Schwartzman, M.D., an internal medicine physician at Lake Regional Clinic – Lebanon. “But just because you can’t remember not feeling stressed doesn’t mean it’s OK or that there’s no way out. There are ways to ease the pressure.” Recognize the signs of stress How do you know if your mental health is suffering? Your stress has hit unhealthy levels if you are having: CHRONIC STRESS Take extra care of your Neil Schwartzman, M.D. • Fearful thoughts about your health and the health of your family and friends • Trouble sleeping • Changes in your eating patterns • Difficulty concentrating • A worsening of chronic health problems • A worsening of depression or other mental health conditions • A rise in your use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs Steps to help you feel better Health experts offer the following tips for coping with these stressful times: Wean yourself off constant news. This can be as easy as turning off the TV. You also may want to disable your phone’s news alerts. (You can always turn them back on later.)