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How to Manage Your Mental Health During COVID-19

Update Date: Dec 07, 2020 02:32 PM EST
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It feels like forever ago that the COVID-19 pandemic happened, yet the year is not over yet. Between new lockdowns and seasonal depression, it's put an extra strain on your mental health. Even though there is a vaccine on the way, it will still be a while until things return to normal. 

When it comes to managing your mental health, do not wait; do it now. Here are some ways for you to do so. 

Avoid Alcohol 

Because more people are at home and bored, alcohol consumption has gone up quite a bit. This especially applies around the holiday season, too. Drinking may feel like a relief at first, but it can have some serious side effects if abused. From financial issues to hangovers, and long-term effects if abused too much, it's not a good way to manage your mental health. 

We aren't saying you can't have a glass of wine on occasion or have a couple of beers to celebrate the weekend, but avoid making it a habit. If you believe you are abusing alcohol, seek help. 

Exercise 

Exercise is excellent for not just the body, but the mind. The endorphins working out releases can make you feel happier. It allows you to focus on the workout and not the dread of the world. Not to mention, it builds immunity. 

If your gym is closed or you're worried about going, it's important that you still work out. Go outside (bundle up if you must) and go out on a little jog in an empty area. Do some crunches at home. Invest in some home workout equipment. It doesn't need to be a big workout, either. You'll see a difference with a short one. 

Get Some Sunlight 

This time of year can be a double whammy on your mental health due to seasonal affective disorder (SAD.) Because the days are short, many of us do not end up getting the right amount of sunlight. From vitamin D shortages to an increase in melatonin, it can be bad on your mental health. That's why it's important to go outside, or open your blinds. If you have a job where it's impossible to get sunlight, invest in a therapy lamp, which can act like sunlight.

Get the Right Amount of Sleep 

COVID depression can hit us on both ends. Sometimes, you will just want to sleep all day. Other times, the stresses of the world can keep you up at night. As you can imagine, neither are a good thing. That is why it's important to get the right amount of sleep. 

Sunlight can help regulate your sleep cycles, along with exercise. If you are oversleeping, use an alarm. If you can't sleep, unwind before bed. If you're unable to fall asleep, get out of your bed and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Tossing and turning just makes the problem worse. 

What about if you can't fall asleep no matter what, or if you are someone who is always tired even if you're sleeping? You may want to speak to a doctor about this. It can be a sign that something is wrong. 

Find Something New To Do 

Keeping yourself distracted can get you through this pandemic, and one way for you to do this is to distract yourself through something new. If you can't travel, spend your time learning a new language. Figure out ways to renovate your house. Try a new video game out. Doing all of these things can help you cope with COVID-19. 

Get Off Social Media 

Being informed and talking to your friends is a good thing. However, if you find yourself glued to social media and you're always reading doom and gloom, that's  an issue. Reduce how much time you spend on social media. Try curating your feed if you must and try to eliminate any negativity you see. Finally, do not be afraid to curate your news feed. Unfollow or mute people who are draining, or unfriend them if you must. 

Save Money

One issue you may face during COVID-19 is worrying about your finances. A bit of financial piece of mind can help you on this front. In order to save some money, try to make a budget and a plan to put a  little bit of money away each time. This can make your life a whole lot easier. 

Breathe 

Just take a deep breath. Let the air flow inside you and outside you. Focus on that, and only that. 

This does sound a little silly, but taking a deep breath is a great way to improve mental health. Sometimes, you just need to stop, take a breather, and allow yourself to feel all the emotions associated with 2020. There is nothing wrong in doing so. Plan for the Future 

This isn't going to last forever. That is why it is important for you to make plans for the future. For example, maybe you can save up for a vacation when this all ends. Being hopeful and optimistic for the future is one such way to manage your mental health. 

Seeking Professional Help 

Self-care is good, but in 2020, you may need a little more help to make it through 2020. That's why it's okay for you to seek treatment from a therapist, counselor, or doctor. 

In some cases, mental health management can involve medicine and therapy. A therapist can help you learn ways for you to manage your mental health, while other professionals can prescribe medicine that can help you. Another solution is telehealth. 

Telehealth services connect you with a doctor or therapist through the Internet. You don't need to leave your home in order to do this. For example, if you feel like  you have a mental health issue, Mind Diagnostics can help you with that diagnosis and eventual treatment. 

In 2020, we all are dealing with this together. That's why it's important for you to reach out if you need help.

Marie Miguel Biography:


Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with Mind-Diagnostics.org. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression. 

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