How to Protect your Mental Health Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic

How to Protect your Mental Health Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic

News of a global public health concern like COVID-19 (Coronavirus) can naturally trigger overwhelming feelings of uncertainty and anxiety that can ultimately impact one’s mental health.

Countless individuals worldwide are dealing with sudden changes to their regular schedules leaving many people unemployed, depressed, and apprehensive about their future.

Due to the unprecedented nature and ever evolving news surrounding COVID-19, it is completely expected and appropriate to experience fear and trepidation during periods like these.

Despite these difficult times however, it is also imperative to know not only how to effectively manage potential anxiety but also mitigate negativistic ruminating thoughts from affecting your overall mental health.

Because of this, here are some useful mindfulness exercises that may be beneficial in reducing stress and anxiety associated with the COVID-19 pandemic:

Mindfulness Exercises

The Breath

Breathing is an important component of mindfulness. Whenever you are stressed or overwhelmed, take a moment to relax and simply focus on your breathing.

Slowly inhale and exhale, releasing your tension and stress away with each breath and regain control over how you choose to respond to the situation at hand.

Remember, you are the master of how you choose to interpret the world around you.

Body Scan

Start by closing your eyes and choosing a comfortable position. You can either sit on a chair or lie on your bed.

Once you are breathing comfortably, slowly move your awareness through your body, focusing on one area at a time.

Stop whenever you find an area that is unusually tight or sore and focus your breath on this area until it loosens.

Feel free to use a calm and healing visualization at this point as well (e.g., a ball of white light melting into the sore spot) to help facilitate the healing.

Object Meditation

Hold an object that is special or interesting to you.

Focus all of your senses on it and note the information your senses feedback to you, including its shape, size, color, texture, smell, taste, or sounds that it makes when it is manipulated.

Practice this meditation technique daily and feel free to bring this object with you to work or school as this can be an especially helpful tool in grounding you to the present moment.

Mindful Eating

Like the previous exercise, this exercise can also be completed with all your senses while you focus on eating a particular food that you enjoy, like dark chocolate or a grape.

Eat slowly while utilizing all five senses: smell, taste, touch, sight, and even sound to ease you back to reality.

Walking Meditation

Lastly, take a leisurely walk at a gentle but familiar pace. Observe how you walk and pay attention to the sights, sounds, and sensations around you as you walk the road ahead of you.

Notice how your shoulders feel, the sensations in your feet as they meet the ground, and the swing of your hips with each stride.

Match your breathing to your footsteps and allow yourself to be immersed with the environment around you and use this time to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective.


While the current COVID-19 pandemic can trigger feelings of uncertainty and fear, it is also important to look for opportunities during these especially difficult times to practice patience and kindness.

Use this opportunity to celebrate successes, find things to be grateful about, and take satisfaction in completing tasks regardless of how big or small.

Because in the end, your mental health is important and it needs to be protected.

2020: A New Vision of the World

2020: A New Vision of the World

We are in the first quarter of the year and none of us expected or envisioned that we would be dealing with the course of events happening now. It is almost surreal, like a scene from a movie. Many people entered the new year with the desire of having new goals, resolutions, and dreams. This was to be the year signifying “2020 Vision” seeing things more clearly. Everyone stated “this is going to be my year.” What we are going through now has been a real eye-opening experience.

Over the course of history there have been many epidemics, disasters, and social issues, which were usually contained in one region. People may have felt safe thinking, “it is not happening in my city, state or my area of the country.” These past three months, the “Coronavirus pandemic” has affected all U.S. states and multiple countries, and crossed every race, age, and socioeconomic group. This blog is not going to be filled with statistics, because we are bombarded daily from all media sources with the data. Updated information should be obtained from reliable sources such as the CDC ( or WHO (

This “global shutdown” has affected every aspect of human life. Freedom and things that we took for granted, such as shopping, going to the movies, dining out, visiting amusement parks, playgrounds, attending concerts, festivals, hanging out with friends and family, and most of all traveling has been brought to a screeching halt. Now families are going to have to learn how to spend more time with their families, reflecting on things to be thankful for and creating entertainment and meals at home.

For safety, government officials have issued “Stay at home” and “Lockdown” mandates, limiting travel for only essential needs. The goal is to try to decrease the spread of the virus, especially to vulnerable populations; hence a new term has been coined “social distancing.” Everyone is to keep a 6-ft distance from each other and limit gatherings of people to 10 or less. Social distancing is a physical separation and does not mean that you cannot communicate with others. The one positive note is that in this age of technology we all can stay connected to others whether they are in the same city or across the country.

Social distancing is important, but there are two populations that this may have an adverse effect on, those with mental illness and those that are in abusive relationships or families. Social distancing could cause “social isolation” and those with depression could have an increased risk of suicide. The worst thing is having individuals quarantined in the home with their abusers. If you know anyone that is in an abusive situation or has mental health issues, reach out to them, if possible.

We are not sure when this pandemic will come to an end, so during this time find ways to decrease your anxiety and stress and try not to panic. Some things that you can do is continue to exercise, keep your humor (in light of what’s going on), watch movies, create crafts and cook together, and make sure to reach out to those that may be alone.

May this pandemic not dim our vision. Stay calm, stay focused and productive.