Ask Dr. Lowenstein: How to Nurture Your Mental Health as the Pandemic Continues

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As we enter the eighth month of the pandemic, what can people do to help keep their mental health intact?

Although it may be difficult to envision at this time, one day the pandemic will be behind us. Until then – and especially as the winter months approach – infectious disease specialists tell us to expect spikes in the number of people who become infected. If that seems like more than your mental health can handle, it may help to start thinking about what you’ll do when this pandemic is over. Let me explain.

Maybe the pandemic has made you realize how much you took for granted the ability to spend time with people you care about. Or maybe you overlooked how much fun it was to visit a local restaurant, attend a concert, or cheer on your favorite sports team. Now that many of these things are not possible, you may realize how much you miss them.

My advice is to start thinking about your post-pandemic activities. For some, that might mean planning a trip to see friends who live in another part of the country. Or maybe it’s about spending more time with your grandchildren, joining a book club, or hosting more dinner parties in your home. Whatever the case, you can find some peace simply by starting to plan for those activities – even if it’s only in your mind.

Since March, we’ve all learned how important it is to be closer than six feet away from one another. We miss people. Start planning how you’ll spend more time with people and doing the things you love when this pandemic is finally a thing of the past.

David Lowenstein, Ph.D. is a psychologist and the clinical director of Lowenstein & Associates, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to providing therapeutic services to individuals and families, he offers training and consultation to numerous associations, schools and agencies around the country. Additionally, he is a frequent radio and TV guest and a resource and contributing writer for numerous newspapers and magazines nationwide. Contact Dr. David Lowenstein at 691 South Fifth Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43206, or call 614.443.6155 or 614.444.0432.