September Health Tips and National Observations
Here’s some news you can use for September 2021!
5 Ways to Cope with Pandemic Re-entry Anxiety
With the COVID-19 vaccine becoming much more widely available across the country, the topic of returning to in-person work, school and other activities is being discussed constantly. However, the country’s reopening coincides with the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which accounts for more than half of all COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. Returning to pre-COVID life amid this latest development can understandably cause feelings of uncertainty or re-entry anxiety.
What Is Re-entry Anxiety?
Re-entry anxiety is an overall uneasiness or uncertainty about returning to the way things were before the pandemic. This feeling may be triggered when meeting socially with friends and family, going back to the workplace or pursuing other important aspects of social interaction. It might be difficult to get reacclimated, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone.
Managing Your Re-entry Anxiety
Different people have different coping strategies, but there are some common ways everyone can cope with reentry anxiety. If you’re feeling anxious as you transition back to your pre-COVID-19 life, consider the following five coping tips:
- Start small and gradually build up to more significant social interactions. Don’t rush into anything.
- Set boundaries by letting other people know what you’re comfortable with. There’s no need to apologize for not wanting to do something, so clearly explain how you feel and also be respectful of others.
- Make a post-pandemic bucket list to shift your thinking from anxious to positive. A lot has changed due to the pandemic, but you can focus on the new possibilities.
- Do what makes you happy, even if only for a few minutes each day. It’s important to engage in something fulfilling for yourself regularly.
- Take care of yourself and set aside time every day to relax and reset your mind.
Re-entry anxiety can be alleviated when managed in a healthy way. If you’re worried about your mental wellbeing, reach out to a doctor or mental health professional to ensure that you’re getting the help you need as you make a return to everyday life.
What is Mental Health?
Your mental well-being includes how you think, act and feel. It also helps you cope with stress, relate to others and make decisions. According to the WHO, there’s not a specific definition of mental well-being. However, various studies agree that achieving a state of mental well-being includes being able to:
- Realize your full potential.
- Work productively.
- Cope with normal stresses of life.
- Contribute meaningfully to your community.
Mental well-being includes mental health, but goes far beyond treating mental illness. For example, you could go through a period of poor mental health but not necessarily have a diagnosable mental illness. And your mental health can change over time, depending on factors such as your workload, stress and work-life balance.
What is mental illness?
Mental illness refers to a variety of conditions that affect your mood or behavior, feelings or thinking. Mental illnesses can occur occasionally, while others are chronic and long-lasting. Common mental illnesses include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Mental illness is more prevalent than you might think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 U.S. adults will experience a mental illness in any given year, and more than 50% will experience mental illness at some point in their life.
RETIREMENT PLAN DON’Ts
When it comes to saving for retirement, you will find a lot of information about ways to save, the different retirement plans that are available, the kinds of investments you can make and how the market works. But be warned: Once you have put money into retirement savings, it should not be taken out. That money is meant to support you when you no longer work, and the less money in your savings, the less money you have to live on in your old age. Following are ways that people take money out of their retirement savings and what happens when they do.
Don’t borrow from your retirement plan before retirement unless absolutely necessary. Your retirement plan may allow you to borrow from your account, often at very attractive rates. However, borrowing reduces the account’s earnings, leaving you with a smaller nest egg. Also, if you fail to pay back the loan, you could end up paying income taxes and penalties. As an alternative, consider budgeting to save the needed money or pursue other affordable loan options.
Avoid withdrawing funds permanently before retirement. This often happens when people change jobs. According to a study by the Employee Benefits Research Institute and Hewitt Associates, only 47% of workers changing jobs rolled over into an IRA or a new employer’s retirement plan at least some of the money they received from their former employer’s retirement plan.
Pre-retirement withdrawals ultimately reduce the size of your nest egg. In addition, you’ll probably pay federal income taxes on the amount you withdraw (ranging from 10% to as high as 39.1%) and a 10% penalty may be tacked on if you’re younger than age 59½. You may also have to pay state taxes. If you’re in a SIMPLE IRA plan, that early withdrawal penalty climbs to 25% if you take out money during the first two years you’re in the plan.