If the coronavirus pandemic—and the ensuing months spent indoors—has been anything but beneficial for your mental health, you’re not alone. According from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 45 percent of respondents said the stress and worry they’ve experienced amid the pandemic has had a negative effect on their mental health.
Unfortunately, the mental health outcomes may be even worse for those who contract the virus. Approximately 15 percent of hospitalized patients still had lingering anxiety or depression three years after their discharge. However, even if things seem grim right now, there’s still hope. Here are the 8 expert-backed ways to improve your mental health every day.
1. Get comfortable with discomfort
Most of us think of anxiety as something to avoid, but it can actually fuel positive change. “Anxiety is a natural emotion that lives in the gap between where we are and where we want to be,” explains Robert Rosen, PhD, founder of Healthy Companies International and author of Just Enough Anxiety: The Hidden Driver of Business Success, who notes that anxiety can be transformed into “productive energy” with the right mindset.
2. Reframe setbacks as opportunities to change for the better
It can often feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel after an emotional, financial, or physical setback. However, reframing those challenges as opportunities can help you move forward instead of continuing to feel burdened by them.