The pandemic has had a significant impact on our mental health. Even as the world opens up again, it is still not over, and it is still having psychological effects on us all. Between isolation, economic issues, and the virus itself, it is no wonder that rates of depression and anxiety have gone up over the past couple of years. What are some coping strategies we can do to help us through?
Julio Licinio is a physician leader, scientist, and editor-in-chief of world-renowned scientific journal, Molecular Psychiatry. He is launching a new science-centric blog series focusing on relevant issues such as the psychological impact of the COVID pandemic. He shares his tips for coping with stress during this time:
- Take care of yourself and your body by getting regular exercise, eating healthy, and resting. It sounds like it won’t help, but it becomes much more difficult to deal with the stresses of life when your basic needs aren’t being taken care of.
- Engage in your community in whatever way you can. We’re all probably sick of Zoom calls, but maintaining a supportive network of friends and family that we can turn to during difficult times is important.
- Take a break from the news.
- Maintain as normal of a routine as you can in order to feel some sense of stability.
- Don’t be afraid to seek help from a counsellor or therapist.
- Know that the pandemic has caused us trauma. Global events do have an impact on individual mental health, and you are not alone. Trauma can not be healed until the underlying cause has ended. Since this is an ongoing situation, you are going to have to use whatever healthy coping strategies that you can.