Top 10 Mental Health Benefits of Covid-19

Top 10 Mental Health Benefits of Covid-19


For the past month, we have been inundated with stories and news briefings of how this pandemic has impacted our world like no other. It’s killed thousands of individuals, ruined global finances, and severely slashed millions of jobs.  Could there be benefits to this catastrophe, particularly in regards to our mental health?


  1. Our connection to our loved ones have deepened.


Most of us are limited to the confines of our home, and no longer have the daily interactions of our co-workers and friends. People have developed a longing to converse with family members or old friends outside written form, and have actually picked up the phone, facetime, or zoom meetings.   Prior to this, it seemed as if conversing aloud appeared antiquated.  Only our fingers have been communicating.  But we are yearning to hear each other’s voices, and therefore conversations have become more textured and layered.


  1. We are allowed to be bored and therefore are reconnecting with our hobbies and creativity.

When have you had this much free time that was not full of activities or holiday chores and obligations?  After binge watching on television shows and films, some of us are flourishing in our cooking and baking skills.  Others are finding creativity in crafting masks for themselves and those in need. We also are pushing our physical and mental limitations by learning the latest tik tok choreography.


  1. Minimizing the busy have forced us to sit with ourselves, and befriend the person in the mirror.

Many times we avoid the darkness in our hearts or stay busy to distance us from the dissatisfactions with life.  The noise keeps us from hearing what is really there. Now the distractions have decreased, we can tune into who we really are. Initially we may have sat with the depression and anxiety that was there, but with time those clouds may have passed. Some of us have been able to forgive and heal old wounds and accept where we are in our lives.


  1. Consumerism as a form of distraction has decreased, reminding us what is essential in our lives.

Due to the inability to leave our homes or the fact that our paychecks are constricted, we are buying less stuff.  We are also finally home long enough to use the stuff that is in our homes, and see what is necessary in our lives is minimal.


  1. Gratitude is prominent for the smallest daily bits of wonder that have entered our lives.

-We get bursts of joy to feel the sun shine on our faces through the windows or belly filled laughter after sharing a memory or old photo with a friend. We find contentment in being able to pet our dogs or cats as they snuggle next to us or actually find pleasure in a comforting dessert we have prepared.


  1. Being given the permission to do nothing has freed us from the guilt of producing, consuming, or eliminating FOMO.

The weight of social comparison has been limited. Nobody is going on expensive vacations, socializing at amazing parties, or taking selfies in front of jaw-dropping backdrops.  We are all socially isolating and quarantining ourselves at home.  Wishing to be somewhere other than where you currently are is futile, and we understand this.


  1. We have been given the space to think about what we truly value and how we want to live the remainder of our lives.

-There is an understanding this will end, the simple question is when.  Many of us have been given telework options, and are navigating how we can negotiate this with our bosses when this is over.  Perhaps there is deep dissatisfaction in your field, now is the time to explore a different type of job, or even the city you live. We may desire to live closer to our friends and family, or give up the dream of living in the big city to spend our money more strategically.


  1. We have witnessed the ways we are dependent on each other and developed an appreciation for all forms of profession.

Never have I seen people so grateful for those in the medical world, grocery store clerks, or teachers.   People have verbalized their praise for these everyday heroes, who are now getting recognized with applause, songs, and artwork. It has been beautiful to see the smiles of appreciation and words of affirmation for all of us at this time.


  1. There has been a universal experience we have undergone simultaneously, which has the potential to always connect us.

Covid-19 have known no boundaries.  It has hit all countries, level of class, age and we are in this together.  We will all have the ability to look at this adversity we collectively experience, and find solidarity in our struggle.  We have one joint enemy in the coronavirus, and it’s ideally uniting us.


  1. We have found that even in isolation we can be free.

Confinement or freedom is found in our minds. You have the key to unlock the prison doors.   By not having to be a typical consumer, busy-body, or one upper, you have the time, space, and potential to begin to craft the life you want post Covid-19.


Upon curating this top 10 list, I couldn’t help but notice that many of the benefits listed are similar to realizations we may have upon attending a silent retreat. When distractions are removed, there is no option but to sit with ourselves and take stock of our lives.  There is no escaping you and the time limited container you are put under. Through stillness we can begin to explore, develop, and refine the essentials in our lives.  We can find gratitude and joy in the tiny moments that weave in and out of our days, and much of what we have been endlessly seeking already exists within the confines of our home and ourselves.shutterstock_1679393290

Tik Tok Our Covid Lindy Hop

Swing dance boomed onto the Harlem dance floors in the 1930s and 1940s.  In the midst of the Depression, this joyous dance was born. People needed an escape from their lives, and swing dance, particularly the lindy hop, was the cure.  This is what I learned from re-watching the documentary Alive and Kicking recently. I began to question is Tik Tok today’s version of the lindy hop?


Lindy Hop brought communities together during the war. Racial segregation was still predominant throughout the world in the 1930s, but the Savoy Club in Harlem allowed both blacks and whites to literally and metaphorically enter through the same door.  The popularity of jazz musicians such as Duke Ellington or Louis Armstrong ignited numerous people to want to take up this dance.  Hollywood films began featuring explosions of this new way of expressing joy, as one dancer would throw and catch his dance partner with glee. Watching clips of these old films is exhilarating, and you could not help but want to emulate the moves of Frank Manning or Norma Miller.


Parallel to this is Tik Tok, although it was created in 2017, it’s having a monumental boost in 2020 with Covid-19.  We are stuck in our homes socially isolated and quarantining ourselves for weeks at a time.  Thousands of us are feeling sadness for those lost or ill, worry for our health and that of our family’s, fear for our financial situations, and panic for toilet paper.  Our ways to cope are limited due to confinement and limited funds.  Some people are mindlessly binge watching old episodes of The Office or the new addiction of Tiger King.  We want to escape our realities. We scroll through Reddit, Facebook, and Instagram but now there’s Tik Tok.  Fifteen seconds capture comedic reliefs, impersonations, and dance challenges.  This short capacity of fifteen seconds is just long enough for us to hold our limited attention span.  We watch people around the world partake in a contagious form of play.  After watching enough Tik Tok videos, and having nothing but free time, one can’t help but ask “Why not?”


And with that thought, the challenge is accepted. Before you know it, you are making your first tik tok video.  It may seem silly to try to deconstruct the choreography of Savage, Ahi, or Oh Nanana, but everything seems silly right now.  We are facing an unprecedented global pandemic and yet cannot escape our homes to seek solace.  Tik Tok has given permission to play, dance, and mesmerize each other in a virtual way. Parents and caregivers who may never have time for their children due to the busy-ness of work, may opt to tik tok their love out with the Grandpa Challenge.  An entire family may learn the moves to The Weekend’s Blinding Light to satisfy the dream of one member’s aspiration of seconds of fame.



The avenue of tik tok is temporarily connecting us, as we watch in our homes, focus on learning dance routines with others, and share them with the world.  We are not creating these videos to try to be the best.  There is no prize to be won.  We are creating videos to spark joy in ourselves and others.


When was the last time you learned a choreographed piece to be performed? For many of us it was a grade school talent show.  Immersing and repeating new moves within our body fires up our brain in a different way.  It stimulates new neural pathways, as we repeat each movement over and over again, maybe for days as we knock down that killer routine.  The monotony of our days of vegging out on the couch are broken.  We are embarking on a new adventure. We may not be able to travel to distant lands, but our bodies can take the shape of new landscapes.  And we are doing this collectively.


Just like people observed the basics of lindy hop that were being formed in the 1930s, they added their own new twists.  The basic moves offer the foundation, but the expression in each of our bodies is so unique.  The contagion of dance overtook their souls and right now it’s overtaking ours.


Beauty can be born in the time of great despair. The question to ask ourselves is that when the world returns to normal, and we enter our offices, shops, and restaurants again will we remember these bursts of creativity that were born out of boredom?  Can we sustain the momentary joy that was felt?


Joseph Campbell once said “Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.”  We don’t know when this will end, but in the meantime why not find solace in tik tok? May you and your loved ones dance out your fears, worries, and tears.  And may we remember to dance collectively after the isolation ends.