Maintaining Mental Health During 新型冠状病毒肺炎 

Man talking to someone on a laptop

We are living in unprecedented times. 的 新型冠状病毒肺炎 pandemic has changed how most of us go about our daily lives, and the future of this outbreak is uncertain. In this time when physical health and safety pervades media outlets and conversations, Department of 咨询心理学 教授和椅子 丹•罗森博士, encourages us to take stock of our mental health. 的re are a lot of unknowns, which can lead to feelings of distress, depression and even grief.  Here are some tips to get us through this period of 社会距离 and sheltering in place.

  • Stay in regular contact with a few people. Let them know about your day, even the more monotonous details — these are things that we can all relate to right now. Applications like FaceTime and Zoom provide the additional benefit of seeing the face of a loved one. 谈论你的情绪, 你的恐惧, your hopes and anything else that might provide a feeling of connection. Do you need any support? Be curious about the experience of the person you’re talking with and remember to ask questions.
  • Reach out to a few people each day/week with whom you’ve been out of touch. Scroll through your contacts and see whose name jumps, and let them know that you’re thinking of them. It is easy to feel lonely and isolated right now, and it might help to remember your connections to other people, whether they are old friends from grade school or someone you met just last month. 的y will likely appreciate it, too.
  • Organize a group call/Zoom meeting with your lunch group at work. People crave routine, and who we have meals with during the week is a big part of that. 的re are lots of options: Netflix viewing parties, 读书俱乐部, karaoke and sing-a-longs, 网上快乐时刻, 和许多更多. Is this as fun as meeting in person? 可能不是. Is it better than nothing? Most likely — give it a try.
  • Buy only what you need. Intertwined with our need for social connection are the very human pressures and impulses of self-preservation and survival. While it is true that we all need a few basics to make it through these days, we can understand and control impulsive purchasing behaviors by considering their function, as well as considering the needs of others. Slowing down and checking in with ourselves about our motivations helps us to both curb unchecked self-interestedness and meet our own psychological needs. Dealing with present-day stress and anxiety needs to be taken seriously, and lots of good science is out there to calm both our minds and nervous systems, 即使在孤独.
  • Notice who needs help and support. 的re are a lot of people suffering out there, and if you have the means to give, now is a good time to do so. Making a financial contribution to a non-profit doing good work is a way to help take care of the most vulnerable in our community. If you are not able to give financially, and that is many of us right now, looking out for neighbors, 在长者住宿登记, 献血, doing chores for essential workers, or anything else  that inspires you may go a long way to feeling connected to your broader community.
  • 移动你的身体. 现在比以往更重要, it’s important to get some form of physical activity, and fortunately outdoor activities are still an option that we can enjoy! As the days become warmer and brigher, we can improve our mental health by taking even a 20-minute (socially-distanced) walk outdoors. A little vitamin D and exercise goes a long way to improve mood.
  • Make a list of the things you enjoy. How many of these can be moved online? 的 list may be longer than you think.

While maintaining social connections during these times is an extraordinary challenge, there are still things that we can all do, even (and especially) when we don’t feel like it.



丹•罗森博士, is a Bastyr 教授和椅子 of the Department of Counseling & 健康心理学.