Many of us have experienced rapid changes and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s normal to feel stressed during this time, and it’s also common to be busy with the pressures of everyday life — leaving little time for mental health. Consider these ways to make your mental health a priority for a happier and healthier life today, this week and beyond.
- Practice self-care — Stay physically active, make healthy food choices and get enough sleep. These healthy habits will help reduce your stress levels and are proven to have a positive impact on mental health.
- Spend time outside — Outdoor activities can help reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue. Changing your environment when you are feeling cooped up can also promote happiness and natural light exposure helps ensure a better night’s sleep. A good goal is to take at least one 10-minute walk outside each day. You’ll also find that other activities like playing a sport, riding a bike or gardening can give a great mood boost.
- Start a gratitude journal — Make it a priority to actively and deliberately focus on the positive to avoid being overwhelmed by daily stressors. One way to focus on the good in life is to write down positive thoughts and notes about what you are grateful for.
- Be with people that make you happy — Surround yourself with people that bring you positive energy. At times when you can’t be together in person, plan for phone calls or video chats. Be creative in the ways you choose to stay connected to important people in your life!
- Take a mental health screening — An assessment can help determine if stress, anxiety or depression may be having an impact on your life. Doctor On Demand offers a free and confidential online mental health assessment that you can take at any time.
- See a therapist or psychiatrist — If you notice that your mental health is having a negative impact on your daily life, you may benefit from speaking to a mental health professional. At Doctor On Demand, our licensed therapists and psychiatrists are available 7 days a week for video visits.
Living a healthier and happier life starts with your mental health. By practicing one or more of these mental health tips, you take the first step to make mental health a priority in your life.
About the author
Dr. Nikole Benders-Hadi is a board-certified adult psychiatrist who passionately believes access to mental health treatment should be available to everyone. She completed her undergraduate education at Johns Hopkins University, followed by medical school and residency training at New York University School of Medicine. She then completed a fellowship in Public Psychiatry at Columbia University. She has also done research on women’s mental health issues. Her approach to treatment is patient-centered and recovery-focused, dedicated to reducing mental health stigma and providing treatments that help patients maintain the quality of life they deserve.