Staying Emotionally and Physically Healthy During COVID-19
Find connection, inner calm, and health in the midst of the pandemic.
Posted March 31, 2020 | Reviewed by Abigail Fagan
It's easy to get lost in anxiety, depression, and a sense of helplessness during these uncertain times. However, by consciously choosing how to respond, you might minimize difficulties. You can also strengthen your sense of connection even while social distancing.
Below are a few important tips for how to improve some key aspects of your life.
Connecting While Social Distancing
This pandemic has forced many people to be apart from those they love. It is yet another layer of difficulty on top of the general stress and strain of these uncertain times. If you are struggling with this situation, it is essential that you nurture imposed long-distance relationships. Doing this will enable you to feel connected and comforted now, as well as keeping your relationship strong for when you can be physically together again. For guidance on how to do this, check out my article, When COVID-19 Separates You From the One You Love .
Find Some Peace By Focusing on What You Can Control
From all that I have reviewed, I’ve found the following two videos particularly informative. In addition to offering some education, they provide guidance on how you can take measures to maintain the physical health of yourself and your loved ones.
- COVID-19 Food Safety Tips with Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen, who is a family physician practicing in Michigan.
- Protecting Your Family from COVID-19 by Dr. David Price, a critical care pulmonologist caring for COVID-19 patients in NYC at Weill Cornell Hospital.
Consider Wearing a Mask
There has been mixed information about the importance of wearing a mask, but I’m increasingly seeing advice that it’s extremely important to wear one. In addition to what Dr. Price had to say in the video above, consider these articles:
The New York Times reported that: “When researchers conducted systematic review of a variety of interventions used during the SARS outbreak in 2003, they found that washing hands more than 10 times daily was 55 percent effective in stopping virus transmission, while wearing a mask was actually more effective — at about 68 percent.”
Another article in The Washington Post concludes, "Given the weight of evidence, it seems likely that universal mask wearing should be a part of the solution. Every single one of us can make it happen -- starting today."
A study, Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses , found that, "implementing barriers to transmission [for SARS CoV], isolation and hygienic measures are effective… Overall masks were the best performing intervention across populations, settings and threats.” There was no clear evidence that the N95 respirator is more effective than surgical masks. (It did not address other types of masks.)
We Are All in This Together
Isolation as a way to combat an "unseen enemy" is causing many of us to struggle with anxiety, a sense of feeling alone, and helplessness. But you can empower yourself by following medical advice to do your part in keeping yourself and others safe. In this brief video, I share one way I am attempting to do this.
I am also asking that you help me to combat the isolation and accompanying sense of loneliness that so many feel. Please post a comment here or email me about what efforts you are making to keep yourself and your family physically and emotionally healthy. I would like to share your responses in one of my future newsletters, helping to connect our community while also encouraging continued efforts to contain this pandemic. ( If you don’t want your response included, please just let me know.)
Making Change blog posts are for general educational purposes only. They may or may not be relevant for your particular situation; they should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional assistance.