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How You Can Fight Depression and Other Mental Health Issues During the Pandemic
By Sophie Letts

It could be that you’re spending more time at home than ever before. It could be that your favorite hangouts are still closed or that you’re not able to get as much quality time with your best friends. Or maybe it’s a combination of these things and/or other consequences of the pandemic that have you dealing with new or heightened mental health issues.

Whatever is going on, if you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, self-bullying, or any other conditions, it’s critical that you deal with them now before they get worse. Along with turning to resources like Hey U.G.L.Y., here are some other practical ways that you can foster your mental health in the COVID-19 era:

Obtaining Mental Health Care
Many people who need mental health services are not aware of how they can get it.

● Check to see if you are covered for mental health services under your parents’ insurance plan.
● If you are uninsured, look into Medicaid, which covers a range of mental health services for kids ages six to 19.
● Research your area to see if any mental health care centers, clinics, hospitals, colleges, or private therapists are offering free or low-cost counseling.
● You can also get assistance from your school counselor, or that person could put you in touch with the help you need.

Eating Well
Your diet is not only essential to your physical well-being, but it also plays a major role in your mental health.

● Adopt an all-around balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruit, protein, dairy, grains, beans, and nuts.
● Look for foods that are particularly helpful in lifting your mood, such as bananas, chicken breast, and dark chocolate.
● Don’t skip breakfast; it helps you to kickstart your daily nutrition and boosts your academic performance.
● Limit highly-processed foods like fruit snacks, canned soup, and frozen dinners.
● Limit sugary beverages like soda, sports drinks, and fruit juice.

Like nutrition, regular exercise will do wonders for your mental and overall health.

● Find an exercise routine you can do at home or at a nearby recreation center, such as running, swimming, or HIIT.
● Add some yoga poses to your daily or nightly routine, which can help you to build strength in your body and cope with various mental health issues.
● Get any gear you need for your workouts, and use savings opportunities like this Finish Line coupon when shopping.

No matter what mental health struggles you are facing, you can do something about them. Look into how you can obtain the help you need, make changes to your diet, and start exercising regularly. Most importantly, remember that you don’t have to walk through your challenges alone—get help from Hey U.G.L.Y. or whatever resources make you the most comfortable. The last thing you want to do is isolate yourself more than you need to in times like these.