Mason encourages residents to prioritize mental health

Living during time of pandemic, winter can take toll mentally and emotionally

GURNEE – State Rep. Joyce Mason, D-Gurnee, is reminding residents of the importance of mental health and sharing tips to help individuals stay well during the COVID-19 pandemic and a challenging winter.

“Every year, the arrival of winter causes many of us to spend more time cooped up indoors and away from fresh air and sunshine,” Mason said in a news release. “Living through winter in our region can be mentally and emotionally taxing even when there isn’t a global pandemic underway. This year, as we spend even more time at home and away from the people we care about, making mental health a priority is more important than ever.”

The Mayo Clinic is advising individuals to take proactive steps to combat winter mental health fatigue, especially this year as it may be compounded by COVID-19-related stress and isolation. The Mayo Clinic has published several tips to help residents cope with increased stressors in a healthy way. Some of the clinic’s tips include reducing screen time, using relaxation exercises, scheduling virtual gatherings with loved ones and making adjustments to news media consumption.

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“It may feel easier to try to ignore symptoms of mental illnesses but repressing those feelings can lead to bigger, more harmful problems down the line,” Mason said. “Taking action to address your mental health concerns now can go a long way in helping you stay well through the winter and the end of this crisis.”