Many people are feeling worn out, down, and stressed after living through a year of the COVID-19 pandemic. People in nations which reacted swiftly and took scientific approaches to containing the spread are doing better, but those of us in areas with poor leadership (I’m in “Conservative” Ontario) the pandemic is stronger than ever. With no end in sight for this pandemic how can we keep our mental health?
We can turn to a recent meta-analysis of mental well-being studies for some guidance. Researchers looked through 420 research trials to find what commonalities exist and if there is anything we can learn form it. There is, and you can start practicing things to help you right away.
Amongst the many forms of interventions included, two in particular stood out for their consistent associations with positive findings across trial cohorts: mindfulness-based interventions, and multi-component PPIs (positive psychological interventions), which package together a range of treatment methods and activities designed to cultivate positive feelings, behaviors, and thinking patterns.
To a lesser extent, other interventions also appeared to deliver benefits, including acceptance and commitment therapy-based interventions, cognitive therapy, singular PPIs, and interventions focusing on reminiscence.