For many, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a source of significant stress. It has impacted day-to-day routines, caused financial pressures and led to social isolation. You may be worried about getting sick or the health of your family and friends. During stressful times, it’s important to pay attention to your mental health and take time for self-care.
5 Tips for Taking Care of Your Mental Health During COVID-19
Get plenty of sleep.
It is recommended that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. During a pandemic, there are many challenges that may affect your sleep habits, including disruptions to your daily life, excess screen time and added stress. The National Sleep Foundation provides guidelines for sleeping well during the COVID-19 outbreak, including setting your schedule and being careful with naps.
Regular exercise can help relieve stress and improves your overall health. It is recommended that adults do a total of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. Be sure to practice social distancing while exercising and do not exercise if you are experiencing a cough, difficulty breathing or if you have a fever.
Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
For some, being stuck inside may present an opportunity to be creative with their meals. For others, it may provide more comfort to stick with familiar foods. Whatever you decide, be sure to include plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. What you eat can have a significant impact on how you feel – both physically and mentally. To learn more about how your diet may affect your mood, check out this article on the Harvard Health Blog.
Connect with people.
Being physically distant from your loved ones can cause stress and feelings of loneliness. Finding ways to stay connected can help you reduce stress and stay positive. Try staying in touch with others via phone, text, video chat, email and social media. You can use video to virtually share meals, host a game night or watch virtual performances. Here’s a list of live virtual concerts you can share with your friends.
Take a break from the news.
For months, information about the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the news (and rightfully so). For some, that can be overwhelming and a source of added stress. If you feel like you need a break, you’re not alone. About seven-in-ten Americans say they need to take breaks from the news about COVID-19 according to a Pew Research Center Survey. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, taking a break from the news to focus on yourself, family and friends may help you feel better.
These times have been challenging for everyone. All of the change and added stress can feel overwhelming. While these feelings are normal, make sure you take the time to look after your mental health during COVID-19.
This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only.