4 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health During Covid-19

Last updated: July 25, 2020, at 6:41 p.m. PT

Originally published: April 14, 2020, at 2:21 p.m. PT

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During a crisis, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be more difficult than ever to take good care of our mental health. Anxieties are running high and preserving or seeking emotional and social connections is tough as a result of physical distancing measures. Taking care of your mental health isn’t a luxury, it’s essential. Remember you’re doing your best during a very difficult time and cut yourself some slack. Here are some tips for taking care of yourself:  

1. Take breaks from the news 

While the news is incredibly valuable, reading too much of it in stressful times can affect physical and mental health—which is exactly what we want to protect right now. Here are some tips for staying informed while reducing stress the news may cause.  

2. Take care of your physical health 

Exercise is one component of a healthy lifestyle that can help reduce stress. Check out our Healthy Living Room for free at home workout videos designed for individuals of all levels, no equipment or membership required. 

3. Make time to relax and unwind 

Remind yourself that strong feelings will fade, take deep breaths, and try activities you usually enjoy. Exploring a hobby can have a positive impact on your mental and physical well-being and can improve your overall life satisfaction. For parents, prioritizing your own well-being benefits your whole family. 

4. Connect with others 

“Find ways to connect through the Internet and through different social media to remain connected because your mental health going through this is just as important as your physical health,” Dr Maria Kerkhove, a WHO epidemiologist says. 

Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a clergy member, counselor, your healthcare provider, or contact the WA Warm Line

Above all, give yourself a break and don’t strive for perfection right now.  

"When I was a boy and would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world." - Mr. Rogers 

For more Mental Health Resources, read A Guide to Mental Health Resources for the Greater Seattle Area & WA State