There’s considerable momentum with the national vaccination program and declining COVID-19 cases, but many still suffer from depression and anxiety. Being cooped up, missing your friends, and Zoom fatigue add to overall stress levels, plus, homeschooling and the thought of dealing with cranky children can leave you drained and tense all over. Your sex life and libido may be plummeting to an all-time low.

Remember, you’re not alone. The feelings you’re experiencing are normal. Mental health concerns, like depression and anxiety, aren’t uncommon at any time and the pandemic has certainly been a strain on our overall mental health and wellness.

Take a look at these simple solutions to combat mild anxiety or depression.

Take much needed breaks from the news, especially COVID-19 updates. Focus your attention on other aspects of the news. The New York Times has an entire At Home section where you can find new recipes to try or things to do this weekend.

Consider a new hobby or activity. Remember when bread making became the latest thing to try at the beginning of the pandemic? There are many other hobbies to explore like gardening, knitting, or yoga.

Read a new book you always wanted to enjoy. Remember that movie you loved that was based on a book? Did your friend tell you about an amazing new read? Now is the time to sit down and discover peace in its pages.

Get active! Exercising regularly can help lower your stress level and help with weight control. There are plenty of ways you can do this at home. Use Google to your advantage and find helpful at home workouts or videos. A difficult part of starting healthy includes avoiding excessive alcohol, tobacco, snacking, and sugary treats. We all know how easy it is to eat an entire bag of chips while on a Netflix marathon.

Focus on sleep! Getting plenty of rest is the secret to a healthier lifestyle. Start a nighttime routine and make your bedroom dark and free of distractions to help you get more sleep.

Practice meditation. This could also help you get more sleep. Learn some mindfulness techniques online. You could also try sex meditation to help you get closer to your partner.

Plan a staycation (a vacation at home). Also, don’t forget to make “me time” a priority. Delegate some of the household chores or dinner preparation and take some much-needed alone time to enjoy the quiet.

Stay connected. Talk with your partner, family, and friends. Plan Zoom happy hours or game nights. You may even want to consider small, masked, socially-distanced gatherings outside which will be easier as it gets warmer.

Get some sunlight. Escape the stuffiness of your home and get outside to breathe in the fresh air. Absorbing Vitamin D will help improve your mood, strengthen bones, and increase immunity. Putter around in the garden, take a hike, or go for a bike ride. Don’t forget your SPF!

Stay sexual. Maintain and enrich your sexual connectedness with new moves or additions to the bedroom. Getting intimate means enjoying the endorphins, neurotransmitters, and hormones that come with.

Find ways to express kindness, compassion, and patience. Stay positive and create hope. Write three things you’re grateful for every day. Take a moment and smile. Plan for the future. It’s right around the corner.

Remember that mental health is general health. Conditions like depression or anxiety are medical, treatable conditions. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to seek medical care if you find yourself struggling to cope. In some instances, a short course of medications maybe necessary. Don’t delay. Don’t suffer in silence.

If you need help, there are services available. Call the National Helpline for more information.

Michael Krychman
Michael L. Krychman, MDCM, is the Executive Director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine located in Newport Beach California. He is the former Co Director of The Sexual Medicine and Rehabilitation Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer. He also is a clinical sexologist and has completed his Masters in Public Health and Human Sexuality. Dr Krychman has a degree in Erotology, Sexual Education and Forensic Sexology. Dr Krychman is also an AASECT certified sexual counselor. He is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California Irvine, Division of Gynecological Oncology and the Medical Director of Ann’s Clinic, a high-risk program for Breast and Ovarian Cancer Survivors.

His special interests include menopausal health, hormone therapy, sexual pain disorders, and loss of libido, chronic medical illness and medical devices and their impact on female sexual function. He is a well-known speaker who is featured locally, nationally and internationally. He has published many articles in peer-reviewed journals and has been featured in many scientific journals and lay magazines. Dr Krychman is an active reviewer for the Journal of Sexual Medicine. He was the Scientific Chairman for the 2010 International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health annual educational meeting. He is an active member in good standing in North American Menopause (NAMS), International Society sexual Medicine (ISSM), European Society Sexual Medicine (ESSM), International Society Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH), American Society of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). He was a member of the Standard Committee for ISSM and has been a guest professor at the ESSM Sexual Medicine Summer School in Oxford, England. He was the creator of the recent WISH Initiative (Women’ Initiative on Sexual Health: and the 2013 recipient of the WISH Outstanding Achievement award given by the ISSWSH. He is also on the professional advisory board for the Patty Brisben Foundation.

Dr. Krychman’s has published 7 books including his most recent one: The Sexual Spark, 20 Essential Exercises to Reignite the Passion, 100 Questions & Answers for Women Living with Cancer: A Practical Guide to Female Cancer Survivorship has been recently published, 100 Questions and Answers about Women’s Sexual Wellness and Vitality and Breast cancer Sexuality, Sensuality and Intimacy. He has been featured on the Today show and in the New York Times and US News and World Report World Report, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Health Magazine and many others. He was named one of Orange County Top Doctors for 2015 and 2016 in Menopause, Sexual Dysfunction and Vulvar Pain. In 2019 and again in 2020, he has been named an Orange County Physician of Excellence by Orange Coast Magazine in Survivorship, Sexual Medicine and Menopause.