Protecting Your Mental Health Amid COVID-19

The lack of physical contact, working from home, school closures, the loss of a job, fear for our loved ones — if life right now feels overwhelming, you’re not alone. Stress, loneliness and depression are all natural responses to the pandemic, so don’t be hard on yourself for having any negative emotions. Acknowledge them and then focus your attention on staying positive in the present moment. Here are some ways to help boost your mental health.

Woman wearing mask
  1. Stick to a routine.
    • Resist the temptation to sleep in or hang out in your sweats all day. Wake up and go to bed at the usual time. Shower, dress and stick to your regular workday hours. If you’re unemployed, designate a time to exercise, walk the dog, learn a new skill or work on a home project. By keeping a routine, you’ll feel the satisfaction of accomplishment.
  2. Perform a random act of kindness.
    • Sometimes the simplest gestures can make all the difference. Smile at a stranger. Write a hand-written letter to an old friend. Grocery shop for an elderly neighbor. Drop a coin in an expired meter. You’ll not only make someone else’s day, you’ll feel better about yourself.
  3. Be grateful.
    • While life may not be ideal at the moment, you can still find things to be grateful for. Be thankful for the people who care about you. Be grateful for your dog, your kids, a really great cup of coffee, having a roof over your head. If you’re still working, be thankful for that. Having gratitude draws your attention to what you have in life — not what you’re lacking. It helps you stay positive.
  4. Maintain social contact.
    • Stay in contact with the people close to you — schedule video chats, call your friends and take advantage of social media channels. Now’s a good time to reach out to someone you’ve lost touch with. Social connections provide emotional support as you navigate life’s challenges.
  5. Do things that boost your mood.
    • What makes you happy — music? Working out? Cooking? Walking around in nature? There’s a direct correlation between your activities and your mood. And when you’re doing the things you love, you’re naturally happier!
Author
Denver Health Medical Plan Staff Writer