Doc Talk #195 – Mental Health and the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that have been put into place have caused enormous strain for many people’s mental health. In this show, Dr Dan and Jamieson talked about some practical approaches to ensuring a good state of mind during these times.

The concept of mindfulness (and living in the present) can be helpful. Arguably it has been somewhat commoditized in recent years.

Cultivating gratitude can be an extremely powerful psychological tool and we previously had an entire DocTalk show dedicated to this.

Being and staying kind can also be useful in maintain our our mental health, but rather than random acts of kindness, making kindness a way of life can be more suystaining.

Medicine requires patience (as Voltaire described it “medicine is the art of entertaining the patient while nature effects a cure”), and reminding ourselves that “this too shall pass” can help ground us in the present reality.

Avoid becoming nihilistic or fatalistic during the pandemic. It is easy to slip into bad habits, such as not exercising or drinking too much alcohol. Recognize what you have control over (and what you do not).

Physical activity can be extremely beneficial, even outside of the pandemic. It has a massive impact on health and well-being, and really is one of the best medicines going. If you haven’t done much exercise before, now is a great time to start – but do take it easy at the beginning.

Use technology if it is helpful, but don’t be afraid to step away from social media.

Making more conscious choices in these truly unprecedented times will help to keep you resilient.

Photo by Finn on Unsplash

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