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Tags: Coronavirus | covid-19 | pandemic | winter blues | mental health

How to Mentally Prepare for a Possible COVID-19 Resurgence

people sitting on couches wearing face masks and separated by a tape measure
A family gathering that implemented social distancing and face masks. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 01 October 2020 02:52 PM

Fall and winter may bring another round of rising cases of COVID-19. Experts say the cool weather coupled with people spending more time indoors can revive the virus' activity across the country. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading White House advisor on the pandemic, warned that Americans should be prepared.

"We need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter because it's not going to be easy," he told Harvard Medical School last month, according to CNBC. While many people get depressed during bleak winter months, coping with COVID-19 stress and the restrictions the disease places on our daily activities can increase anxiety.

Board-certified psychologist Jeff Gardere tells CNBC that being prepared can help stave off the blues:

  • Wake up at a normal time, advises Gardere, who is also an associate professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City. Stick to regular waking and sleep routines even if you work from home and it is dismal outside.
  • Turn on the lights, said Gardere. A lack of natural light is one of the triggers for seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. The expert says that artificial light works just as well as natural light to boost your mood.
  • Get outside. Even when the weather is nippy, continue to socialize outdoors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of contracting COVID-19 is greater indoors, especially over a prolonged period of time. "Get excited about your winter gear," said Gardere, according to CNBC.
  • Exercise. While Gardere personally uses an indoor bike to work out, talking a brisk power-walk with a friend can release "happy hormones" such as dopamine and serotonin that help your mood and focus.
  • Find a hobby. Studies show that people who have hobbies tend to be less stressed and more focused, according to CNBC. Whether that's doing crossword puzzles or baking bread, having a hobby can keep your mind occupied on things other than COVID-19.

© 2021 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


Headline
Fall and winter may bring another round of rising cases of COVID-19. Experts say the cool weather coupled with people spending more time indoors can revive the virus' activity across the country.
covid-19, pandemic, winter blues, mental health
326
2020-52-01
Thursday, 01 October 2020 02:52 PM
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