Mindfulness During COVID-19

Karen Dionesotes, M.D. , Sahar Jahed, Neda Gould, Ph.D.


  • What is COVID-19?
    • COVID-19, also known as 2019-nCoV or SARS-CoV-2, is a positive sense, single-strand enveloped RNA virus of the family Coronaviridae that is the cause of the pandemic in late 2019 and currently ongoing in 2020. It primarily causes upper and lower respiratory tract infections.
      • More serious infections can end up with patients being intubated, on dialysis, and in an intensive care unit.
  • What is stress?
    • The body’s response to a physical or emotional demand
    • A universal experience that may be due to daily responsibilities (i.e., school, work, family), a negative change (i.e., losing a job, divorce, or illness); or a traumatic event (i.e., viral pandemic, war, assault, or natural disaster)
      • Traumatic events may be associated with distressing emotional and physical symptoms of stress such as fear or sadness, changes in sleep or eating patterns, irritability, fatigue, intrusive memories, hyperarousal, and tobacco and alcohol use.
  • What is the impact of stress on the body?
    • Chronic stress states are associated with symptoms such as decreased focus, impaired memory, irritability/anger, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, increased risk for heart attack and stroke, inflammation, decreased nutrient absorption, among others.
  • What is mindfulness?
    • Mindfulness meditation is “the awareness that emerges through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment”.[1]
    • Mindfulness practice can be formal or informal:
      • Formal mindfulness: specifically setting time aside to meditate
      • Informal mindfulness: bringing mindfulness to daily activities

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Last updated: August 8, 2020