It has now been a year since shutdowns began in the U.S. and we think everyone can agree that it’s been exhausting! Now more than ever, it’s important to take care of both your mental and physical health to get through the pandemic. Here are some helpful hints to help you cope with an already stressful time:

  1. Maintain a daily routine. Get up every day at the same time, get dressed, get organized, and, most importantly, make a healthy breakfast! We all tend to want routines and it gives us comfort knowing what to expect for the day.
  2. Eat a healthy diet. Choose raw, healthy vegetables and unprocessed foods. Try to limit alcohol and treats that are high in sugar.
  3. Plan a daily walk with the dog or hike with the family to stay healthy, connected and enjoy some outdoor air.
  4. Stay social. While video chatting, instant messaging, and texting may not be ideal, it’s still important to maintain bonds with family and friends. Use technology to connect in new ways by trying a virtual happy hour or book club. Don’t hibernate and remain isolated. Find your socially distanced crew!
  5. Maintain your self/health care. Certain tests can be delayed or postponed, but it’s important to get routine checkups with healthcare professionals. Mammograms and colonoscopies, while routine tests, detect early disease and can be lifesaving. Make sure you’re up to date.
  6. Find new projects. Tackle a minor house renovation, learn a new language, read a book, or start a new hobby. The novelty of new adventures can raise low spirits, pandemic or not.
  7. Go on a “news diet.” Keeping up with the news 24/7 can be draining as it’s often full of depressing and frustrating stories. Try to limit the amount of time you spend reading and following the news.
  8. Boost your immune system. Besides a healthy diet, regular sleep, and a solid exercise plan, consider some immune-boosting vitamins or foods rich in these natural nutrients. The best vitamins are A, C, D, E, zinc, and selenium. Consult your healthcare professional if you want to consider adding vitamins to your daily regimen.
  9. Make smart decisions. Remember that masks are not a political statement. They save lives. Mask up, practice social distancing, and wash your hands. Be outside if you’re able and celebrate holidays virtually and safely.
  10. Cultivate and enhance your relationship. Don’t forget your partner or spouse is going through the same issues you are. Focus on improved communication and don’t put sexual intimacy on the backburner. And there’s nothing wrong with adding a little spice and adventure to the bedroom. Sex is an excellent stress reliever!

Almost three quarters of women feel their lives have been disrupted significantly by the pandemic, so it’s important to take time every day for your mental and physical health. Routines are key in times of stress. And remember, sex can drop the stress meter!


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.