It’s not difficult to see why the COVID-19 pandemic has had such a tremendous impact on many people’s mental health. The feelings of intense frustration, isolation and fear this pandemic has facilitated have made this among the most stressful periods most of us have ever lived through. 

During times like these, it’s important that you not regard mental health care as an afterthought. Consistently tending to your mental health throughout the pandemic can help you stay grounded and maintain a healthy mindset until a true return to normalcy is feasible.

Contributing to Public Health 

In addition to providing you with peace of mind, contributing to public health can help you feel good about yourself during a dark time. For starters, take care to get vaccinated against COVID-19 (unless you suffer from a medical condition that prohibits this) and encourage others to do the same. Secondly, continue masking up and practicing distancing measures whenever you venture out into public. You may also want to consider running errands for immunocompromised friends and family members and taking part in charitable causes, like blood donation drives.  

Seeking Out Remote Counseling 

Even in the best of times, counseling and therapy can prove tremendously beneficial to your mental health. Working with a dedicated mental health professional can provide you with a variety of valuable coping tools and help you work past assorted traumas. However, since traditional in-person counseling is a bit risky at the present time, you’d do well to seek out remote counseling options. This will enable you to receive the treatment you need without having to place your health at risk. Fortunately, many therapists and counselors are currently offering remote sessions to safety-conscious clients.    

Working Remotely 

Among the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that remote work is far more feasible than many enterprises would have you believe. As it turns out, the overwhelming majority of desk jobs can efficiently be done from the safety of home. Although a fair number of businesses are now calling on employees to return to the office, you shouldn’t feel obligated to go back if you don’t feel safe. If your employer isn’t requiring workers to be vaccinated, it’s a safe bet that some of the people with whom you work have yet to receive a vaccine – and possibly don’t even intend to. While work is certainly important, it’s hardly worth risking your safety – and the safety of anyone you happen to live with – for. Furthermore, with the Delta variant spreading like wildfire, this is far from the ideal time for companies to demand that employees come back.

If you feel unsafe in your workplace, make your desire to continue working from home known to the relevant parties. If you or anyone with whom you cohabitate is immunocompromised, take care to note this. Furthermore, even if you don’t suffer from compromised immunity, there’s no reason you should be expected to report to a formal workplace during an active pandemic if your job can be done remotely.   

Shutting Out Toxic Influences 

If there are people in your life who have readily embraced weaponized misinformation and actively place your health at risk, you can save yourself a fair amount of stress by shutting them out. For example, dealing with friends, family members and coworkers who refuse to get vaccinated or take any common sense measures to keep themselves or others safe can be extremely aggravating – and downright dangerous. While trying to push these individuals in the right direction is fine, don’t continue placing your health in jeopardy if they prove unsusceptible.  

Many of us have no qualms about placing mental health on the backburner. However, while this may seem like a good idea in the moment, it can ultimately lead to a host of long-term issues. Tending to one’s mental health is particularly important during times of great stress – and for many people, few periods have been more stressful than the last 18 months. Fortunately, giving yourself the TLC you deserve and keeping your mental health in check throughout the COVID-19 pandemic are much easier than you may think. So, if you’re determined to see this pandemic through without compromising your mental health, put the tips discussed above to good use.