How to look after your mental health during a pandemic

As part of the global response to the pandemic, the citizens of many countries are having to stay at home. However, prolonged isolation can take its toll on mental health. In this Special Feature, mental well-being advocates share their top tips on what you can do to cope with anxiety and stress while stuck at home.

person relaxing at home

All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date. 

In a press briefing on March 26, 2020, officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) discussed the challenges that the world is facing in terms of mental and psychological health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Physical distancing and isolation measures, [and] the closure of schools and workplaces, are particularly [challenging for] us, as they affect what we love to do, where we want to be, and who we want to be with,” said Dr. Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, in his opening remarks.

“It is absolutely natural for each of us to feel stress, anxiety, fear, and loneliness during this time. At [the] WHO, we consider [effects on] our mental health [and] psychological well-being as being very important consequences of COVID-19,” he added.

As people all around the world find themselves working from home or being home-schooled — unable to travel even down the street to visit friends or family — staying mentally healthy could become increasingly difficult for many.

So what can individuals, as well as society at large, do to preserve mental well-being and cope with stressors such as anxiety and loneliness?

To find out, Medical News Today have reached out to two mental health advocates: business neurolinguistic programming practitioner and mental health trainer Tania Diggory, founder and director of Calmer, and leadership coach and mental health first aid instructor Kat Hounsell, founder of everyday people.

This Special Feature presents some best practice tips for maintaining good mental health that Diggory and Hounsell suggested, as well as the official advice offered by experts from the WHO.

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