EUGENE, Ore.-- Many people have needed to form new habits to get through the pandemic with their well-being intact, and medical experts say some of them are worth keeping around even once COVID-19 is under control.
"Stopping to give a little nod to them can be helpful to our mental health," said Oregon Medical Group physician's assistant Laurel Stiedemann. "Thinking about what has fueled you to make it through the past year is really valuable."
For some, an extra focus on wellness and mental health meant finding a meditation regiment that worked for them or picking up journaling. Meanwhile, extra time at the home with family or efforts to connect and grow bonds with a support network may have been beneficial.
"Recognizing in ourselves and reminding our friends that we've been stronger than we thought we would ever be asked to be is really helpful when we are supporting each other," Stiedemann said.
For others, the past year has been a time to refocus on physical wellness with exercise and dietary changes.
"There's been an opportunity to prepare our lunches in a way we never did before or because a lot of us were home or we were feeding six extra mouths and usually the schools would do that," Stiedemann said.
Of course, for many, the pandemic also created some negative behaviours and coping habits, but according to Stiedemann its normal if you are feeling irritable anxious or just not at your best. Talking to a doctor about these feelings can get you back on the right track.
Taking the good with the bad and doubling down on habits that have helped you improve can be a good place to start.