Mental Health Tips for Adjusting to Post-Covid Life

Mental Health Tips for Adjusting to Post-Covid Life

It Takes a While to Adjust’: Recognizing the Pandemic’s Long-Term Mental Health Impacts and How to Find Help

“It takes a while to adjust to things, and we’ve been living with the pandemic and the fear of the virus… for such a long time.”
The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over just yet, but with the June 15 reopening day that dropped many state restrictions, California is on the way out.

Despite the joy of that victory, 21% of U.S. adults reported feeling “high levels of psychological distress” as a result of the pandemic, according to a March 2021 report from the Pew Research Center.

According to the California division of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the organization “reported a 65% jump in HelpLine calls, callbacks and emails” between March 1 and April 30 of 2020, when compared to figures from the same time span in 2019.

The past 15 months have forced people worldwide to confront job losses, economic instability, disability, illness and millions of deaths. That unprecedented mental load is in addition to the stress of political, environmental and social upheavals that occurred in the same time period.

Even as Californians are now able to enjoy indoor dining and the ability to go without a mask in many situations, some people may still feel anxious about their safety — even if they know they’re protected with a vaccine.

According to Dr. Bridget Callaghan, UCLA assistant professor of psychology and director of UCLA’s Brain and Body Lab, that hesitation is normal.

The changes everyone had to make at the beginning of the pandemic, such as bringing a mask everywhere and washing and sanitizing hands more often, were “very habitual,” Callaghan said.

The process of habit-forming is part of why people may have initially done things like forgotten a mask before heading back home to grab one — now, the “habit” is normal life.

“It takes a while to adjust to things, and we’ve been living with the pandemic and the fear of the virus… for such a long time,” Callaghan said.

Intellectually, people may know their vaccination means little to no risk of getting or spreading COVID-19, but habitually and emotionally, it’s been a worry for a long time. It’s natural and expected “to feel weird” going back to normal, Callaghan said, even in cases where you and the people you’re seeing are fully vaccinated.

Furthermore, not everyone will feel the same about the impacts of the pandemic. Where an introverted person may have been relieved to have more time alone at home, an extroverted person may have felt isolated, and a person who lost loved ones may have felt intense grief.

“It’s impacted people in an enormous variety of different ways,” Callaghan said, and a variety of reactions are normal.

Someone in acute, immediate distress who wishes to harm themselves or others can call a hotline, such as the LA County Crisis Line at 1-800-854-7771, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Those who do not wish to call can text “LA” to the LA County Crisis Line Text at 741741.

But someone who simply feels overwhelmed can try and find a therapist to help work through the stresses and grief they’ve been feeling during the pandemic.

“The first thing I would say is definitely to get professional help,” Callaghan said. “If you feel impaired… the best thing to do is to reach out.”

Anyone who feels overwhelmed by new mental health problems can go to their primary care physician, local psychiatric society, medical school or community mental health center and get a referral to see a psychotherapist.

And for people who are coping but may like some extra, non-professional support, Callaghan said, reaching out to a friend or family member and rebuilding your supportive social network may help.

“It’s really good to be open and upfront with people,” she said, and discussing pandemic stress with someone else may reveal that you’re not the only one feeling that way.

“There’s a doorway where those feelings are reciprocated.”

More than anything, when it comes to the psychological impact of the pandemic, Callaghan said, “it’s really important at this time in particular to be really gentle with ourselves.”

“It’s going to take a long time to adjust” to the not-quite-post-COVID period, she said. “It’s not just going to go back to normal easily.”

Contributor: Maggie More, NBC Los Angeles

The Healthiest and Unhealthiest Store-Bought Hot Dogs

The Healthiest and Unhealthiest Store-Bought Hot Dogs

Claremont Colonic Newsletter

You’ll be surprised by the differences…

Hot dogs are a grilling mainstay, and when compared with a cheese-covered burger or a juicy bratwurst, a standard-sized hot dog can actually be a healthier option, believe it or not.

They cook quickly too, meaning you can have lunch or dinner on the table in a snap. But not all hot dogs are created equal, and some pack far more fat, calories and sodium into the casing than others. These are the healthiest and unhealthiest hot dogs.

All beef: Healthiest: Organic Valley Organic Uncured Grass-Fed Beef Hot Dogs

  • Calories: 130
  • Fat: 11 grams
  • Sodium: 370 milligrams
  • Cholesterol: 30 milligrams

Organic Valley Organic Uncured Grass-Fed Beef Hot Dogs don’t contain any additives. They’re made of organic grass-fed beef, water, sea salt, organic spices, organic garlic powder, organic onion powder and cultured celery juice powder. Go the extra mile with these sausages and bake your own buns to serve them in.

All beef: Unhealthiest: Ball Park Beef Franks

  • Calories: 180
  • Fat: 15 grams
  • Sodium: 510 milligrams
  • Cholesterol: 30 milligrams

Ball Park Beef Franks are made of much more than beef. In fact, corn syrup is listed as the third ingredient. There are also scary-sounding ingredients like potassium lactate, sodium phosphate and sodium diacetate — but don’t worry, they’re just flavor enhancers and preservatives and safe to eat. One thing to be aware of, however, is the sodium content of this hot dog — 510 milligrams. Processed foods with lots of salt are one of the foods that are putting your blood pressure through the roof.

Low fat: Healthiest: Hebrew National 97% Fat Free Beef Franks

  • Calories: 45
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Sodium: 490 milligrams
  • Cholesterol: 15 milligrams

Hebrew National 97% Fat Free Beef Franks are primarily kosher beef, water and modified potato starch, which is used to add stability, texture or viscosity. The hot dogs contain no artificial flavors, artificial colors or animal by-products. When shopping for low-fat products, realize they may rely on fillers — like potato starch — to keep the calorie count low. While the nutrition facts seem promising, these products can be among those so-called healthy foods you may want to avoid.

Low fat: Unhealthiest: Ball Park Lean Beef Franks

  • Calories: 80
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Sodium: 480 milligrams
  • Cholesterol: 20 milligrams

Ball Park Lean Beef Franks are primarily beef, water and modified corn starch, but they also include corn syrup, sodium phosphate and sodium diacetate; they’re nitrate-free. If you’re on a low-fat diet, this may not be the best option, given one hot dog still has 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat and 20 milligrams of cholesterol.

Mixed meat: Healthiest: Applegate Naturals Stadium Beef and Pork Hot Dog

  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Sodium: 360 milligrams
  • Cholesterol: 30 milligrams

Applegate Naturals Stadium Beef and Pork Hot Dogs are made mostly of beef, pork and water. Other than that, it’s spices and the lamb casing. A good casing gives hot dogs that classic snap, which is one of those restaurant secrets home cooks should know.

Mixed meat: Healthiest: Oscar Mayer Classic Uncured Wieners

  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 10 grams
  • Sodium: 420 milligrams
  • Cholesterol: 12 milligrams

Oscar Mayer Classic Uncured Wieners contain mechanically separated chicken and turkey, but they have relatively low amounts of fat and cholesterol for this type of dog. These franks have roughly the same calorie count — 110 — as a boneless, skinless chicken breast, another food that is great on the grill.

Mixed meat: Unhealthiest: Kayem Beef and Pork Hot Dogs

  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 13 grams
  • Sodium: 430 milligrams
  • Cholesterol: 25 milligrams

Kayem Beef and Pork Hot Dogs have more fat than some of the other mixed meat hot dog options, as well as more cholesterol. They also have added ingredients, including corn syrup, potassium lactate and dextrose, a sugar. Save that sugar intake for tasty frozen fruit desserts.

Turkey: Healthiest: Applegate Naturals Turkey Hot Dog

  • Calories: 70
  • Fat: 3.5 grams
  • Sodium: 450 milligrams
  • Cholesterol: 35 milligrams

Applegate Naturals Turkey Hot Dogs contain 98% turkey and water; the other ingredients are salt, paprika, onion, garlic, cardamom, coriander, mace, ginger, black pepper, celery juice powder and cherry powder for flavor. Pair these turkey dogs with some pasta salad, green salad or other cold dishes perfect for hot summer days.

Turkey: Healthiest: Oscar Mayer Turkey Uncured Franks

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 7 grams
  • Sodium: 380 milligrams
  • Cholesterol: 8 milligrams

Oscar Mayer Turkey Uncured Franks have just 100 calories per hot dog, which leaves plenty of room in your diet for other great grilled dishes. If you’re following a low-sodium or low-cholesterol diet, these are also a good option with 380 milligrams of sodium and just 8 milligrams of cholesterol.

Turkey: Unhealthiest: Ball Park Turkey Franks

  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 7 grams
  • Sodium: 540 milligrams
  • Cholesterol: 35 milligrams

Ball Park Turkey Franks are loaded with sodium. While the main ingredient is mechanically separated turkey, these franks do contain beef stock. The sodium sent this turkey dog to the bottom of our health ranking. If you are watching your salt intake and trying to improve your eating habits, these healthy recipes and tips from a doctor will make nutritious eating a cinch.

Contributor: Staff – The Daily Meal