10 Tips For Managing Your Mental Health During COVID-19

By Elise Phillips Margulis | 30 April 2020 845 views
coronavirus mental health tips

Protect Your Mental Health During Coronavirus…

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Some regions of the United States have been under “stay at home” or “shelter in place” orders for well over a month. 

By now you’ve probably had a bunch of movie marathons… binge-watched multiple seasons of several television shows… cleaned out your closets… and Zoomed with your friends, acquaintances, and family members.

This stressful pandemic takes a psychological toll on all of us. Even if you’re not a healthcare professional out on the frontlines… your life has likely been impacted profoundly.

You probably feel an immense loss of control. You’re bombarded by frightening news on a regular basis… which can result in anxiety, stress, sadness, and loneliness.

How do you deal with all that?!

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The Centers for Disease Control list the following common symptoms of stress during this traumatic time:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcoholtobacco, or other drugs

According to the Mayo Clinic, the best strategies to thrive during this crazy and unpredictable time are to be mindful and to focus on your physical and emotional health. 

Here are 9 things you can take control of to help you feel more balanced… and manage your mental health during this difficult time:

1) Get Enough Sleep

Every self-care list has sleep on it… and for good reason!

It might be difficult to fall asleep if you watch the news before bed (or even if you watch it earlier)… because of images of hospital patients and ventilators in your mind. Don’t watch the late night news, and close your laptop computer an hour before bedtime. 

Make your pre-bedtime routine soothing. Take a bath, read, listen to calming music, journal, or do whatever calm ritual you enjoy to wind down.  

It’s also a good idea to go to bed when you feel tired and to do so at the same time each night. If you don’t turn in when your body is exhausted, you’ll probably get that “second wind”… which can mean more trouble falling asleep later.

Your body repairs itself and recharges while you are sleeping, and it needs to do so now more than ever.

2) Eat Nutritiously

This is another staple for well-being, but it’s more challenging now.

Are you stress eating? Is being in the house all day resulting in extra snacking? Are you nibbling when you’re bored? 

Being stuck at home all the time makes eating a temptation. Stock up on healthy foods and snacks… and keep busy with other pursuits. Make sure your quarantine doesn’t devolve into a sugar and junk food fest.

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Another pandemic consumption tip: try to avoid consuming a great deal of caffeine. Too much caffeine can make you feel stressed and anxious.

3) Exercise

Exercise is yet another item that’s always on the list of important things to do to stay healthy. 

Whether you take a nice walk outside or start each morning with a yoga video… you’ll benefit emotionally and physically from producing endorphins.

20 minutes of movement each day is great for your heart… lowers your blood pressure and blood sugar… and reduces your cholesterol.  

4) Don’t Smoke Or Vape

COVID-19 develops in your lung. Smoking and vaping put you at a higher risk to contract coronavirus.

The simplest solution is to avoid smoking and vaping.

5) Socialize (From A Distance)

Socializing is essential for physical and emotional well-being. Studies show that friendships improve your mental and physical health… and social people live longer! 

Even if you are quarantined with several family members, you need to communicate with your friends. Discussing your feelings and sharing fears are a good way to process and cope with the trauma.

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Laughter is always a great way to alleviate stress, too.

Even social media can be helpful during a pandemic. The funny memes and the comforting posts can help all of us to work through the experience together.

6) Breathe, Meditate & Stretch

Take a break from it all with some deep breaths, meditation, or even just stretching. You need a mini-respite from the chaos.

If you haven’t tried deep breathing techniques, meditation, or stretching before… look it up online! YouTube has great videos walking you through it, too.

7) Stay Informed, But Don’t Watch The News Constantly

It’s good to be informed, but don’t saturate yourself with sad and terrible news. You should be aware of the latest developments, but hearing about it for hours on end isn’t healthy.

Take steps to limit your news exposure. Decide how often you want to check the news—whether that is once a day, every other day, or less frequently.

Then stick to it!

It can also be helpful to make sure you seek out good news. This can help to balance out the stressful news about the pandemic.

8) Make A List of Things to Accomplish Each Day

If you’re trapped in your home for weeks on end, you’ll feel better if you maintain a sense of purpose. One easy way to do this is to make a list of things you need to accomplish every day.

In addition to including any work tasks or household chores you need to complete… you can also include self-care activities like eating healthy meals, taking breaks, going for walks, and more.

No matter what’s on your list, you’ll have created a regime and a sense of normalcy. Plus, crossing things off is so rewarding!

9) Pamper Yourself

If you’re like me, you’re being a little lazy about your appearance since you’re not leaving your house except for groceries. (Especially when no one can see your face when you’re wearing a face covering!)

Unless you’re on Zoom calls for work (or even if you are!)… it’s difficult to get motivated to apply makeup, style your hair, or dress in anything but sweatpants. Donning jewelry is completely out of the question.

However, you probably don’t normally have time to spoil yourself with self-care… and this is the perfect time to soothe yourself with some pampering.

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Take the focus off of being surrounded by uncertainty. You may be stuck in your house for a long time, and spas and salons are closed.  

Here are some fun indulgences that will comfort you now and help you emerge from quarantine feeling and looking fabulous.

Face Masks

Who doesn’t love the clean and refreshing feeling of peeling or washing off a face mask? If you don’t have a store-bought face mask ready to use… you can even make your own.

Deep Hair Conditioning

You might not be using your curling iron or flat iron as much during lockdown… but a deep hair condition is always a treat.

If you don’t want to run to the store for one, you can create one with items you probably have in your kitchen.

Teeth Whitening

Now that you’re spending lots of time at home, you can commit to wearing whitening strips if you’ve been wanting to brighten your smile. 

Eye De-Puffer

Refrigerated steeped tea bags (used ones work fine) placed on your eyes for 10 minutes help to de-puff eyes. That’s because tea contains tannins, which can reduce swelling.

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Bath Bomb

How about a relaxing bath?! You can even make your own yummy bath bomb.

Body Scrub

Want to exfoliate your body? Here’s a recipe for a DIY body scrub.

Reduce your stress by thinking of quarantine as “your time.” It’s a one-time pass to spoil yourself and do things you don’t normally have time for.

Regular healthy habits are helpful and throw in some happy and pampering things to get you through the madness.

10) Take A Probiotic Supplement

Research has shown that people who take probiotics have a reduced risk for conditions like depression and anxiety. [1]

Scientists believe that’s because of your gut-brain axis. To put it simply, this link connects your brain to your digestive system.

When your digestive system is healthy and you have a flourishing, diverse microbiome… you reduce your risk for emotional & cognitive problems in the brain.

So, a great way to protect your mental health—both now AND after this COVID situation is over—is by taking a trusted probiotic supplement.

I personally did a TON of research before I found a probiotic supplement I feel comfortable taking every day.

That’s because, unfortunately, many supplement manufacturers use lots of useless (and sometimes even harmful) fillers in their products… and they seem to choose probiotic strains willy-nilly!

If you really want to get the benefits of probiotics… you have to be careful about exactly which specific strains are in your supplement.

Each strain affects your health in a different way… and you only want the strains that affect you in a good way.

So to see the particular probiotic supplement that I use and trust to manage my mental health… improve my digestive system… and maintain a healthy weight… click here:

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P.S. – Oh… did I “bury the lede” there a bit? Yeah, this probiotic was initially formulated as a weight loss probiotic… so in addition to having all the great strains to boost your mental health… you can melt off some of the “Quarantine 15” too! 🙂 Click here to watch a short, free presentation all about it…