Ever heard of Murphy’s Law? “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

That ever happen to you?

Take a look around, and you’ll notice COVID-19 has changed a lot of things.

An estimated 8.35 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States. It’s claimed the lives of 222,000 Americans. And trending data suggests that COVID-19 cases are on the rise after taking a dip.1

When COVID-19 hit hard earlier this year, lockdown orders closed businesses and schools, put people out of work, and forced people to stay home. Mix that with social and political issues, and everything else going on in your life, and you might feel like Murphy’s Law in unfolding all around you.

Are you stressed out, worried, anxious, depressed, or lonely? A recent survey found that mental health issues are on the rise because of the pandemic.2

You could be experiencing COVID Fatigue.

“People have lost wages, jobs, and loved ones with record speed,” says University of California researcher Dr. E. Alison Holman.3 “Individuals living with chronic mental and physical illness are struggling. Young people are struggling. Poor communities are struggling.”

It’s tough with so many changes to familiar environments and routines. And it’s going to be like this for the foreseeable future. So how do you improve your mental health, boost your mood, and manage stress during COVID-19?

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Learn more about COVID-19. No, you don’t need to read and watch every report on the pandemic. But you should know the symptoms and how to protect yourself and your family.
  2. If you do get sick, know where and how to get treatment. Call your doctor or telehealth provider to find out about testing, quarantine, and treatment options BEFORE you go to the hospital.
  3. Stay connected. Work from home. Avoid going out. Practice social distancing. Limit social gatherings. Changes since COVID-19 began have increased feelings of loneliness, depression, and isolation. But you can stay connected with family, friends, and co-workers via phone, text, email, social media, and video calls.
  4. Unplug from media. Unplug every day. Step away from your phone, computer, TV, tablet, and screens. And limit the amount of media time you spend on watching, reading, or listening to news stories about the pandemic.
  5. Take care of your body. Practice deep breathing. Try meditation or yoga. Eat healthy food. Take a walk. Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Avoid or limit alcohol. And spend a little time in the sun. Low-vitamin D levels (from lack of sun exposure) can have a negative impact on your mood and mental health. It’s a primary cause for SAD…seasonal affective disorder, during the fall and winter months.
  6. Make time to unwind. Relax, read, listen to music, or enjoy a hobby.

You can’t control the global spread of COVID-19, and that’s a frustrating feeling. But you can control your thoughts, feelings, and actions to boost your mental health and happiness…even during a pandemic.

Sources:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). COVID-19 forecast deaths. From: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/forecasting-us.html
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Anxiety and depression Household Pulse Survey. From: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/covid19/pulse/mental-health.htm
  1. Holman, E. A., et al. (2020). The unfolding COVID-19 pandemic: A probability-based, nationally representative study of mental health in the United States. Science Advances, 6(42). From: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/42/eabd5390

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