How to Cope with the Mental Health Consequences of COVID-19

April 29, 2022

Feeling a broad spectrum of emotions during a pandemic is normal and expected. Each of us is experiencing COVID-19 and its challenges in different ways. You may be feeling fear, anxiety, changes to eating and sleeping habits, an increased use of alcohol or drugs or a worsening of an existing physical or mental health condition. Having some coping mechanisms will help you navigate the pandemic and come through it as healthy and happy as possible.

Make Sleep a Priority

Adequate sleep improves your immunity but is also important for mental wellness. You should also be sure you’re getting at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Creating this habit ensures that you’re getting the rest your body needs for both mental and physical health.

Stay Active

Exercise is one of the best ways to combat anxiety and depression, including during a pandemic. Physical activity boosts your mood and keeps your body healthy, so make it a part of your daily routine. Try taking a walk at lunchtime, doing a yoga practice when you get up in the morning or dancing with your kids after school and work. Choose something you enjoy because that makes it more likely that you’ll stick with it.

Eat Healthy Foods

When you eat foods that are nutritious and satisfying, you naturally feel better, both body and mind. During the pandemic, focus on eating an abundance of fruits, vegetables and 100% whole grains (i.e. unbleached 100% whole wheat flour), which satisfy your nutrient requirements and your hunger at the same time. Eat smaller amounts of lean meats and dairy foods. Limit salt, sugar, saturated and trans fats.

Stay Connected

One of the main reasons why people are suffering from mental health problems during the pandemic is due to the lack of connection. Make a point of talking to friends and family members via text, phone or Zoom if you can’t meet them in person. Stay connected to co-workers as well, especially if you’re working from home. When possible, spend time in person with your support network. Have drinks in the front yard with your neighbors, go for a walk with your best friend, or meet your parents for a picnic in the park.

Create a Routine

When you have a routine and an order to your days, it’s easier to feel happy and positive because you know what to expect. Keeping a consistent sleep pattern is important, so be sure you’re going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. Even if you’re working from home and doing remote learning with your kids, a routine can keep the days orderly and balanced. Keep a consistent time for meals, sleeping, downtime and housework to protect your mental health.


Other ways to boost your mental wellness during the pandemic are to limit your exposure to the media, help those around you, focus on positive thoughts and connect to your spiritual practice (i.e., going to church). These ideas will help you stay happy and healthy even as the pandemic continues.

Posted in CHM