6 Mental Health Tips during Covid 19 for 2021 and Beyond

One of the biggest impacts of the global covid 19 situation has been the effects on our collective mental health studies on the global burden of disease were already showing that mental disorders make up 5 out of 10 leading causes of disability in the world and this was before the pandemic started the stress anxiety and depression stemming from fear isolation and stigma around covid 19 have affected all of us in one way or another
kids can’t go to school at least in some places and normally see their friends many people are losing their jobs and the elderly are isolated from their usual support network of course the past year has been hard on health care workers having to work long hours personal risk of exposure to the virus and witnessing firsthand the loss of people’s colleagues and loved ones here in the united states mental health conditions are affecting as many as one in five people around 47 million as devastating as covid 19 has been current case numbers are sitting at half
that amount the issue is that the effects of the pandemic on our mental health may be far longer lasting than the disease itself covid has also caused disruptions to our mental health in an indirect manner the measures taken to slow the spread of the virus have affected our physical activity levels our eating behaviors our sleep patterns and
our relationship with addictive substances   including social media and to this last point both our increased use of social media while stuck at home as well as the increased exposure to disaster news over the past year have amplified the negative effects of social media on our mental health thankfully the news is not all bad especially with new plans for rolling out of the vaccines so in this video i want to give some recommendations for boosting your mental health as we get through this pandemic together now the first thing is of course exercise there’s new even stronger evidence for the positive benefits of exercise on mental health all of the most common forms of aerobic exercise like walking running or stationary cycling have displayed these improvements encouragingly these   benefits have still been present at follow-ups up to 12 months after the interventions have ended now what about resistance training this too has provided similar reductions in depressive symptoms over an eight week period compared to cardio now you don’t have to exhaust yourself so either low to moderate intensity exercise improves mood
and vigor while high intensity training if overdone has more potential to increase tension and fatigue the american college of sports medicine recommends at least two to three 20 to 30 minute exercise sessions per week during isolation we can enjoy the saved transit time and decreased cost of working out at home of course nutrition plays a role as well so epidemiological studies investigating the relationship between diet and mental health have steadily increased over the last decade research is showing the increased risk of developing depression and anxiety when consuming a highly processed western diet now on the flip side studies have also emerged showing the link between a diet rich in fruits and vegetables healthy fats nuts fish and low in processed foods and the protection from developing common mental disorders the mediterranean diet has been ranked the healthiest way of eating by dietitians and doctors for the fourth year in a row it’s a non-restrictive mostly plant-based eating style which has been extensively researched with study after studies showing benefits for weight loss lower risk of diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure better digestion and even healthier aging the diet is based on eating habits in regions like greece and southern italy the so-called blue zones which are regions of the world where people tend to live the longest healthiest lives more than a third of adults experience sleep difficulties in the first half of 2020 alone us google searches for insomnia increased by 58 more often than not these problems occur in conjunction with physical and mental health burdens since covid 19 has disrupted our daily routines our sleep hygiene as it’s known is suffering as a result some things you can try to improve your sleep quality include eliminating screens at least
an hour before bedtime incorporating some form of mindfulness or relaxation into your routine whether that be yoga or breathing exercises or guided meditation mindfulness and also optimizing your sleep space this includes making sure the room temperature light exposure and noise levels are are all conducive to getting a restful sleep and if you have dry air in the home maybe a humidifier will help with your sleep as well and one more point i want to make is that a lot of people have undiagnosed allergic rhinitis whether that be perennial allergic rhinitis or seasonal allergic rhinitis and what happens is their nose becomes very stuffy and their mouth breathers at night and so they have a harder time getting a good night’s rest and they don’t even recognize this problem and so this is me actually so uh so it’s not only me it’s a lot of my patients and a lot of people in the population   don’t even realize this so this is something that you should be aware of and maybe doesn’t apply to you but a lot of people do have this condition
so could be something for you to think about depending on the weather and restrictions in your area you may be able to get outside for a certain  amount of time each day i suggest you take this opportunity whenever possible the restorative properties of interacting with nature include lower levels of stress and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression getting outside also means you’re spending less time on social media and away from your phone and the importance of this can’t be underestimated you’ll also get the benefits of healthy sunlight exposure weather permitting this plays a vital role in mental well-being by regulating our energy levels and it also is a source or at least partly a source of her vitamin d supply since the pandemic has started i started running outside again and it feels amazing one of the major causes of the covid mental health burden is our isolation from others it’s critical   to reach out in meaningful ways to friends family and colleagues for their sake as much as your own i would advise wherever possible to use a visual means of communicating with your circle whether that be through zoom or facetime or skype or whatever at the very least try to have a voice call as useful as texts are well they lack the expressiveness and body language and tonality that make up the bulk of how we connect with one another on a meaningful level now during christmas i was able to face time with my family about eight different phones were involved where we’re all connected at once and my brother told me you can actually have up to 30 people or so connected on facetime so
that was pretty cool and for those dealing with more serious mental health challenges there are services out there to provide help the pandemic has allowed for vast improvements in access to and delivery of online support services and the final tip i have for mental health is to stay positive so having a positive mindset is easier said than done but it does help with improving your mental well-being and even though we are undergoing difficult times with the worst of the worst being january 2021 there is light at the end of this tunnel not only do we have the new
rollout for the pfizer and moderna vaccines in the works but there’s also the johnson and johnson in the astrazeneca vaccines that are on the horizon also the number of people who’ve been reported to have been infected with coronavirus is at least 23 million but this isn’t really accounting for all of people who’ve had asymptomatic disease or mild disease who actually haven’t been diagnosed with covid so most experts are estimating that the true number of coronavirus cases in the united states is around 70 million that means that about 20 percent of the population will be immune to the virus as a result of their previous infection then when you throw in the warmer more humid air going
into the spring and summer in combination with the new biden administration and some of these newer medications that are helping to mitigate severe cover disease there’s definitely light at the end of this tunnel and i expect that by june july then this pandemic is going to get much much better and hopefully over with by the fall hopefully these tips have helped give you some inspiration as we get through this home stretch of the pandemic together so thanks
for watching and i’ll see you in the next one you.