Pandemic takes toll on mental health

The Best Times Digital Edition

February 24, 2021

After almost a year of experiencing the pandemic in Johnson County, one might begin to think that this physically- distanced, face-masked way of life is old hat.

The reality is, even for those who have embraced this different pace of life, the pandemic can still affect the way you think, feel and act.

Your body may be giving your warning signs that it’s being impacted, not by the virus itself, but by the stress caused by disruptions to routines, relationships and the regularity of life. Here are some examples of what you could look for:

Poor sleeping patterns, increased fatigue and major changes to activity-level, appetite or digestive system are some physical signs.

New challenges to remembering things, concentrating or decision-making can be signs that stress is affecting some of your mental functions.

Emotionally, you might experience increased irritability or sensitivity. Overwhelming feelings of fear, guilt, anxiety, depression or anger are also common.

Everyone is different and will be experiencing and processing the pandemic in different ways. It’s possible that one person might be experiencing all of these symptoms at once, while another person may not be able to identify any of these symptoms.

There are three key takeaways:

  • Be able to recognize when something about you is off.
  • Realize you are not alone. We are all experiencing this together.
  • Know that help is always available.

If you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms over an extended period of time or at extremes, please call the 24/7 Crisis Line at 913-268-0156.

Keith Davenport is the community relations manager for Johnson County Mental Health Center. This article was made possible in connection with the Kansas Stronger Together grant. For more information, please email