Mental Health and COVID-19
The effects of COVID-19 on mental health are just as essential to address as the physical ones. The COVID-19 pandemic may have brought considerable changes to how you live your life, such as altered everyday routines, financial strains, and social isolation. Stress can worsen chronic health problems and mental health conditions. It’s important to find healthy ways to cope with and manage stress that will help you and those you love.
What You Can Do
Take Care of Your Physical Health
Get Enough Sleep - Keep a schedule by consistently waking up and going to bed each night. Be sure to get out of bed on time, even if you're not planning to leave home.
Participate in Routine Exercise - In addition to the physical benefits of exercise, physical activity helps reduce stress and anxiety. Spend time doing an activity you enjoy, such as walking, riding a bike, or stretching outdoors.
Healthy Eating - Choose a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and fat–free or low–fat milk and milk products. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Limit caffeine as it can worsen stress, anxiety, and sleep problems.
Stop Smoking - Smoking or using other tobacco products increases your risk of lung disease. Because COVID-19 affects the lungs, it's important to avoid smoking.
Limit or Avoid Alcohol - Remove alcohol from your diet or drink in moderation by limiting consumption. View guidelines on the CDC's website for more information.
Limit Screen Time - Constant news and information can be overwhelming. Disconnect from your phone, tv, and computer screens for periods each day.
Make Time to Relax - Just a few minutes of quiet time can help you feel refreshed. Relax your mind and reduce stress with deep breathing, yoga, meditation, or listening to music. Find something you enjoy and do it regularly.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Keep a Routine - A regular daily schedule can help you feel more in control. Keep consistent times for getting dressed, work or study schedules, and physical activity. Don't forget to set aside time for things you enjoy and can look forward to.
Stay Busy - Hobbies like reading a book, cooking a meal, or gardening are healthy ways to manage anxieties. Find an activity you enjoy doing at home as a beneficial coping strategy.
Positive Thinking - Focus on what you can control and the positive things in your life. If the effects of COVID-19 on your mental health become overwhelming, you should talk to your doctor, a trusted friend, or a religious leader.
Connect With Others - Stay connected with friends and family. Talk to people you trust about how you're feeling.
For Immediate Help
Call 911 or 988 - Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
What is 988?
988 is the new three-digit dialing code that will connect callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (now known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline) and is active across the United States.
Get connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing Lifeline network simply by calling or texting 988 or chatting online.
The previous Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis.