Six tips to help boost women's mental health during the pandemic

Six tips to help boost women's mental health during the pandemic

The World Health Organisation reports that more women suffer from depression than men. Here is expert advice to help women boost their mental health. 

Woman feeling stressed
Woman feeling stressed / iStock

Since March last year, the coronavirus pandemic has led to a lot of deaths and loss of income. This has escalated depression stats.  

Mayo Clinic reports that women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression, while ncbi also states that the prevalence of major depression is higher in women than in men. 

Below, coach Dr Lee Kingma gives five tips for women to help boost their mental well-being: 

Live a healthy lifestyle

Coach Dr Lee Kingma says it is important for women to take care of their bodies and exercise as a means to boost their immune system and mental well-being. 

"Take the best care of your body and build your immune system," says Dr Kingma. 

Some of the ways to take care of the body include exercising and eating a healthy diet. 

"Exercise is important – even if it is just a daily walk. Make healthy food choices for yourself and your family," she adds. 

READ: World Mental Health Day: How to manage your mental illness

Beware of addictions

Dr Lee says one of the ways to help boost mental health is to notice and deal with habits or addictions which don’t serve you. 

"This could be substances – unhealthy relationships or even being a work-aholic," says the coach. 

For those who are struggling, she says they should "ask for help from your Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or other sources which are affordable."

Cultivate your close relationships

"Nurture your relationships close to you. Cultivate kindness in your home in how you speak to others. Reach out to friends. Mend the fences where there have been fall-outs – but accept that not everyone is ready or capable of forgiveness," says coach Kingma. 


The pandemic has led to a lot of death. Coach Lee says it is important to not only reflect, but to accept death as a reality.  

"Use the time of slower pace to reflect on what really matters in your life. Become more at ease with mortality as we all are having to face grief in our circles and our close friends," she says. 

Don't be too hard on yourself

"Be gentle with yourself and notice how you pay attention – refer back to the questions I posed above. But only witness – be your own observer rather than being guilty or shameful.

"It is only when we pay loving attention to ourselves that we can grow in our wisdom, self-awareness, and practice appreciation for life and the small things which bring us daily joy," says the coach. 

READ: Mental Health Awareness Month: Together we can break the stigma around mental health

Beware of screen time

Although technology allows us to connect with our loved ones and see what is happening in the world, coach Lee says it is important to sometimes take time off from the screen. 

"And lastly – appreciate the connectivity which technology has enabled us to be connected with others and continue to earn our livings. And notice our relationship with screen time. We need time away from our screens. We need to guard against believing everything we read as the ‘truth’. We need to write our messages with kindness and patience."

READ: Researchers are saying that online video games can help with mental health

Image courtesy of iStock/ @fizkes

Dr Lee Kingma
Dr Lee Kingma/ Supplied

More About Dr Lee Kingma

As a former HR executive at Juta Publishing for 13 years, Lee has coached and mentored employees in managing their careers successfully in dealing with the complexities of life and the world of work. She has consulted both in SA and internationally.

She holds a Doctorate in Human Resources Management and a Master of Business Administration. She completed professional coach training at UCT and is registered as a PCC coach with the International Coaching Federation. She is a published author of ‘What’s you Tribe – Using the Enneagram at work and life'.

During the last four years, she established her own practice, focused on leadership, resilience, and coaching at both executive and middle management levels.

Life Purpose

"To bring hope and clarity to my clients using my powers of resilience, humour, and life wisdom so that I, my family, and all whom I connect with may have more ease."

Recently, Lee has been supporting many clients virtually, both individuals and groups, within vastly different contexts, to ‘Cope while in Cocooning’ during the lockdown period due to the pandemic.

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