The Impact of the Pandemic on Well-Being

Sadness, fear, worry, and other emotions can affect us during or after tough situations. Examples of tough situations include the COVID-19 pandemic, loss of a family member or friend, or experiences related to racism. Dealing with these issues can weigh heavily on your mental health and affect your daily life.

Quick Facts:

  • One in five American adults has a mental health condition.
  • 21 million Americans have depression.
  • Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the U.S. It affects 40 million people.
  • Suicide accounts for 41,000 deaths annually in the U.S. It is the 10th leading cause of death.
  • The rate of mental health disorders doubles for those who have been to war or lived through a disaster, including the pandemic.

Many people are experiencing grief during the pandemic. Grief is a normal response to loss. Grief can happen in response to loss of life, as well as to drastic changes in daily routines and ways of life that usually bring us comfort.

If you are feeling stress, grief, or anxiety during this time, you are not alone.

It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during challenging times. However, feeling strong emotions or being stressed for extended periods of time can have negative effects on your health. Learning to cope in a healthy way will help you, the people you care about, and those around you become more resilient. You can help yourself, others, and your community by sharing the information in this handbook.

Remember: You are not alone. It is OK to be not OK. There are resources available to help.

Quick Self-Check

Do you have mild symptoms that have lasted for LESS THAN two weeks?

  • Feeling a little sad or down
  • Feeling down but still able to work, take care of yourself, and family
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling irritable and moody

If so, these are some self-care activities that can help:

  • Exercising
  • Engaging socially with others
  • Sleeping on a regular schedule
  • Eating healthy
  • Sharing with a trusted friend or family member
  • Practicing meditation, relaxation, and mindfulness

If these symptoms do not improve or seem to be worse after two weeks of self-care activities, then you may need to talk to your health care provider.

Do you have severe symptoms lasting MORE THAN two weeks and that are interfering with daily life?

  • Not sleeping
  • Appetite changes resulting in unwanted loss of weight or weight gain
  • Struggling to get out of bed in the mornings because of mood
  • Not able to concentrate or make decisions
  • Loss of interest in things you normally enjoy
  • Unable to perform daily functions and activities
  • Thoughts of death or self-harm

Contact your doctor or a mental health professional if these are problems you are facing. You can also find resources below and throughout this site.

Need Support Now?

If you or someone you know is struggling or in a crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org.

Mental and Emotional Well-Being

It is time to talk about this pandemic and how it has created stress and distress for you, your family, and your co-workers. Mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health. Good mental and emotional health increase happiness and resilience.

Understanding Mental Health

Your mental health is how you feel in your heart and mind. It is always changing. One day you might be happy and another day you might be sad. Most of us experience mental health challenges. It is normal. Sometimes, they are more severe and can affect emotions and how you think and act. It is important to know when you need help to maintain good mental and emotional health. It is OK to be not OK. It is also OK to ask for help and to offer help to others who are having mental and emotional health challenges.

Mental Well-Being vs. Mental Illness

 Identify Your Symptoms

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives. We are adapting to a new normal. You are not alone if you are tired, overwhelmed, and stressed. It is time to talk about this pandemic and how it has created stress and distress for you, your family, and your co-workers.

Instructions: Below are some signs and symptoms that COVID-19 may have stressed you during this pandemic. Think about each symptom you have felt, or that you are feeling now.

  • Feeling on edge
  • Exhaustion
  • Not wanting to make decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Lack of satisfaction or enjoyment with work
  • Feeling disconnected from co-workers, customers, or patients