How to Navigate Mental Health in a Global Pandemic

Good Grief Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and now, more than ever, we need to find ways to be connected and support one another. COVID has wreaked havoc on our lives over the past year, restricting our daily movements to the confines of our homes and cutting us off from seeing some of the people we love most. At best it’s diminished our mental state, and at worst it’s taken loved ones from us. 

Stress about contracting the virus, as well as the loss of jobs, childcare and loved ones are some of the ways COVID has impacted mental health and increased substance abuse. If you are struggling, you are not alone

A study conducted by KFF found that in the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, the share of U.S. adults who said worry and stress related to the coronavirus was having a negative impact on their mental health increased from about one-third (32%) in March 2020 to roughly half (53%) in July 2020. The study also found:

  • Younger adults (18-29 year olds), mothers and women are most likely to say stress related to COVID has had a negative impact on their mental health
  • Nearly 7 in 10 women under age 30 report a negative mental health impact from the pandemic
  • Nearly 3 in 10 mothers say they needed and were unable to get mental health services in the past year

Though the world still hasn’t returned to ‘normal’ yet, below are some ways in which you can boost yours and your loved ones mental wellbeing if you are unable see one another face to face:

  • Check in with family and friends - send a text or call even if it’s just to say hello
  • Schedule a virtual date - happy hour, escape rooms, events - a lot of companies have found ways to pivot during the pandemic and offer virtual services
  • Switch off your phone - in a world that’s always ‘connected’ it’s important to remember there is a wonderful life to be lived outside of social media 
  • Get active - whatever form of exercise you choose, being active releases endorphins that makes you feel damn good physically and mentally 
  • Go outside - the Japanese have a word called “Shinrin'yoku” or “forest bathing” which means taking in the forest through our senses, and it has become a cornerstone of preventative health care in Japan
  • Learn a new skill - remember that Spanish class you always wanted to take? There’s no time like the present to learn a new skill or pick up a new hobby
  • Send them a care package - we have a whole mental health collection that is dedicated to promoting mental wellbeing

If you seek support outside your network, there are several companies you can turn to for help listed below.

General Mental Health Resources:

LGBTQI+ Mental Health Resources:

Black Mental Health Resources:

Latinx Mental Health Resources:

Indigenous Mental Health Resources:

AAPI Mental Health Resources: