6 Mental Health Tips during Covid 19 for 2021 (and beyond)

Here in the U.S., mental health conditions affect as many as one in five people – around 47 million of us. As devastating as COVID 19 has been, current case numbers are sitting at half that amount. The issue is that the pandemic’s mental health effects may be far longer lasting than the disease itself. COVID 19 has also caused disruptions to our mental health indirectly. The measures are taken to slow the spread of the virus have affected our physical activity levels, eating behaviors, sleep patterns, and our relationship with addictive substances, including social media. To this last point, both our increased use of social media while stuck at home, as well as the increased exposure to disaster news over the past year, have amplified the negative effects of social media use on our mental health. Thankfully, the news is not all bad, especially with new plans for rolling out vaccines. So in this video, I want to give some recommendations for boosting your mental health as we get through this pandemic together.

Exercise
There’s new, even stronger evidence for the positive benefits of exercise on mental health. All of the most common aerobic exercise forms, such as walking, running, or stationary cycling, have displayed these improvements. Encouragingly, these benefits have still been present at follow-ups up to 12 months after the interventions ended.

Resistance training, too, has provided similar reductions in depressive symptoms over an eight week period compared to cardio. You don’t have to exhaust yourself, either – low to moderate-intensity exercise improves mood and vigor, while high-intensity training, if overdone, has more potential to increase tension and fatigue. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least two to three 20-30 minute exercise sessions per week. During isolation, we can enjoy the saved transit time and decreased costs of working out at home.

Epidemiological studies investigating the relationship between diet and mental health have steadily increased over the last decade. Research shows the increased risk of developing depression and anxiety when consuming a highly processed, Western diet. On the flip side, studies have also emerged showing the link between a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, nuts, fish – and low in processed foods – and the protection from developing common mental disorders.

The Mediterranean diet has been ranked the healthiest way of eating by dietitians and doctors for the 4th year in a row. It’s a nonrestrictive, mostly-plant based eating style that has been extensively researched, with study after study showing benefits for weight loss, lower risk of diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, better digestion, and even healthier aging. The diet is based on eating habits in regions like Greece and southern Italy, the so-called blue zones, which are regions where people live the longest, healthiest lives.

More than a third of adults experience sleep difficulties. In the first half of 2020 alone, U.S. Google searches for ‘Insomnia’ increased by 58%. More often than not, these problems occur in conjunction with physical and mental health burdens. Since COVID 19 has disrupted our daily routines, our ‘sleep hygiene’, as it’s known, is suffering as a result.

Depending on the weather (and the restrictions) in your area, you may be able to get outside for a certain amount of time each day. I suggest you take this opportunity wherever possible. The restorative properties of interacting with nature include lower stress levels and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Getting outside also means you’re spending less time on social media and away from your phone, and the importance of this can’t be underestimated. You’ll also get the benefits of healthy sunlight exposure – weather permitting. This plays a vital role in mental well-being by regulating our energy levels, and it also a source of our vitamin D supply.

Doctor Mike Hansen, MD
Internal Medicine | Pulmonary Disease | Critical Care Medicine
Website: https://doctormikehansen.com/
IG Account: http://instagram.com/doctor.hansen/
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/DoctorMikeHansen

#covid #covid19 #coronavirus

39 Comments

  • Nur Azhar

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Help I’m feeling dizzy for no reason

  • Mona Singh

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    The lady crying…your wife???

  • Mona Singh

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Many relationship have realised…their relation hollow and void… results of mental health issues

  • GoldenSheen Obsidian

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    What can we do about elderly 70+ who have had their vaccine shots and has symptoms of affecting their mental health has gotten worse?

  • GloriaBeauty5000

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    I wish this video was an hour😭😭😭

  • សុខុមសទ្ធា កែវ

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    😈😈😈 Covid-19 is the secret terrorist in this 21th century. The world has to join its solidarity to combat this fierce enemy.
    WHO & WPA should play the important role in fighting with Covid-19 & its complications such as : mental trauma, PTSD, melancholic depression etc.

    – Covid-19 is the biggest lesson between Science & Religion.
    – Covid-19 is the greatest lesson between humanity & profit.

  • Michael James Chisholm

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    I HAVE NOTICED MENTAL HEALTH IN FEMALES DURING COVID 19.HAS BECOME A SERIOUS ISSUE.

  • It’s Me

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Awww man mental Heath really shot up now I done went crazy during this

  • Pina Macheda

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    At least they are talking more about the "real pandemic" that's still gripping the world. My poor nephew a perfect example of victim to mental health. He and his partner never encountered a fight in 5 yrs together but when lockdowns took place, they split overnight without even facing each other and nobody is to blame, his poor partner had endured several abusive relationships during her life and appeared to have flashbacks during isolation and cut him off, it's like he became one of their past abusers yet treated her like a Queen.

    This type of behavior seems more common in older people who've had a history of abusive. Goodness knows how many marriages/relationships that were otherwise ok have been ruined by this horrible disease. He's still broken 9 months later but not because of the loss, but knowing it would never have happened had it not been for this pandemic. Many couples have coped and even prospered during the crisis, but many haven't. The real cost of C19 is sickening.

  • Sue Barnard

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Good medication and a therapist online will also help. I do agree exercise outside has made a big difference!

  • Sara Mariam

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Hello
    My mother have this health issue hemifacial spasm plz tell me treatment??

  • Chelsea Scott

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    My social anxiety has been so much worse since Covid. I'm too scared to even apply online for jobs. Too scared to even email anyone..

  • Nomsa Ledwaba

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    @Dr Mike Hansen how does one treats Rhinitis allergy for a 4 year old, now that you mentioned it?
    Light and love from South Africa.

  • Patrica Dyson

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    I like to read . And cook .And do walks .And most of all Pray a lot. A. Exercise. Talk to my friends. And watch funny shows .

  • Jason Wang

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Love you doc.

  • Sailing Sam

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Can you do a segment on allergic rhinitis ?

  • Sriyani Sriyani

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Definitely stresses make life distroid.. I'm very lazy to do.. I don't know why feeling that way….

  • Helen Ndow

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    I'm 84 and for some of my exercise I dance around the house with my teddy bear

  • Debbie Hill

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    I am petrified of having any vaccine and would rather continue isolating from the world to avoid contracting the illness. I have had many medical blunders and high risk of shock syndrome so I wont be having the vaccine .

  • The Common Sense Diet

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    "It is health that is the real gold and not the pieces of gold and silver." (Mahatma Gaandi)

  • Beth Mercado

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Thanks

  • Sapphire Blue

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    How do we know post dx days 11-21 are not infections, but "lingering coughs" and lack the vital load to be contagious?

  • mikey stanberry

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Thank you so much Dr Mike! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  • Joe Bell

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    A lot of good facts and promise in here, thanks for making these videos. However you mentioned a new Biden administration aiding in making covid improve, I don’t understand that, could you explain further how that impacts anything?

  • Sassy girl

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    In the beginning of this pandemic I had panic and anxiety attacks multiple times a week, so much that I had to even put my Fitbit watch back on in the evening to try and controle my heartrate. Now at this point, I'm pretty much sliding into a depression, crying multiple times a week. I'm an introvert and like being alone from time to time, but even for me this is getting really hard to handle. On top of that I have MS and winter is the hardest time for me when it comes to that. I work for the governement so I'm still working, seeing my colleagues and I do 14000 to 15000 steps a day and do yoga. But doesn't really help. I started 2021 with a good feeling and good hopes with the vaccines and health experts and politicians here in Belgium stating we'll all be vaccinated by half of september. But now once again there's nothing but bad news, coz the pharmaceutical companies are not doing what they're supposed to and delivering way less doses than they were supposed to. At this rate, it'll be 2023 by the time we all got our 2 doses of the vaccine 😭😭😭

  • Chanatip Suksang

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Thank you for making these vdos. Very informative, get to the point. Very helpful in with keeping up with important Medical news. The length of vdo is perfect, since we all are so busy.

  • Matt H

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Jesus is all you need.

  • ECATERINA MATCOV

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Hello doctor Hansen
    Thankyou for all preciouses information
    Have a beautiful day or evening and you to stay safe

  • Jerry Curtis

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Very Helpful!

  • Stephanie Miller

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Is it now necessary to wear double masks? I have been hearing a lot about doing so. Thank you.

  • Kari

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    I knew you were gonna mention physical activity and nutrition. Dammit🙄🙄🙄

  • Sherry Antoine

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Really helpful, thanks.

  • Mia B

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    I absolutely loved the video! Thank you. 💙

  • lorrane

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Do you recommend an anti-histamine for stuffy nose

  • Sal Rutig

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Thank You dr. jizzer, for your clear analysis of the DSM 5. When jogging 🏃, may the blue bird of Happiness poop on you!

  • Waismann Method Opioid Detox & Rapid Detox Center

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Self care is so important for our mental health. When we don't take care of our anxiety or stress it can very easily lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms like drug abuse. In the short term, drugs seem to help but then they take over and cause even more problems including addiction.

  • Asian in America

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Thanks for your educational videos!

    I had a question I was wondering if you could possibly address in a video. I was chatting with a friend who isn’t completely sold on the vaccine and he raised an interesting question I didn’t know how to answer. To my understanding the vaccine doesn’t necessarily prevent you from getting infected rather it prevents you from getting sick. So if we can still be infected with the virus how does vaccine help lower the spread of Covid? Once we’re vaccinated do we become less infectious even if we get infected? I understand that even with the vaccine we still have to be on our game about hand washing, mask wearing, and social distancing. However, in my community people can be rather lax about their masks (wearing them on their chin or taking them off if nobody calls them out). Also, I know some people are still having larger gatherings and traveling. So once more people become vaccinated, seeing how people are behaving when things are worse than they’ve ever been, I can’t help think that there’s a chance people will become even more lax about their precautions. Will it become so that even if we get infected there will be less hospitalizations? Is that the solution the currently available vaccines offer us?

  • angelica r

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    thank you for this helpful info doc. God bless you

  • Diane Nikfar

    Posted July 14, 2021 10:10 pm

    Dr. Hanson, thank you for the factual and compassionate health tip video. It was very encouraging!

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