5 Tips To Help Your Mental Health During The Global Pandemic
Maintain Online Contact With Family And Friends
Although we need to stay home, and restrict contact with others, we can definitely keep in touch with family and friends while in self-quarantine.
We are inherently social creatures, and although it’s difficult to feel like we are connected in isolation, reaching out to those we care about makes us feel more connected, which boosts our “happy hormones”: oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin.
What self-care means to you, might mean something different to someone else. Is it exercise? Gardening? Music? Regardless of what makes you feel good, staying oriented with daily routines helps us feel resilient. So, if you’re not able to get to the gym, maybe you can find a home workout you can do. Maybe, every morning when you wake-up, you make sure you make your bed, and start your day by collecting your thoughts and planning what you’d like to accomplish that day. Goals make us feel good, feeling a sense of accomplishment builds us up.
“Having a sense of purpose is having a sense of self. A course to plot is a destination to hope for.”
– Bryant H. McGill
Limit Upsetting Media Coverage
Anxiety and rumination around what’s happening, how things are progressing in our cities, and what’s next for our jobs, families, and health is top of mind for us all. The desire to keep up with the news, and be aware of what’s next is natural. However, when thoughts and actions start to become obsessive, and we have a hard time putting our phone down in search for the next update, it might be time to limit upsetting media coverage. Maybe limit yourself to checking the news twice a day. Maybe you close off apps that you find you’re going to, too often. Also, practicing mindfulness can help calm the mind. Try noticing what we might not normally notice.
Maintain A Schedule
As routines have changed drastically for most of us, maintaining structure and routine to your day is important to stay oriented in our day to day. Take a moment now, and think about how you are spending your time. What are some of the things you did before the outbreak that brought you peace? How about a sense of accomplishment and feelings of pride? Although we may not be able to do all that we did before ( like going to the gym for example), find ways to substitute and integrate alternative behaviours into your day. Maybe it’s practicing some home workouts, or getting up at the same time every morning. Maintaining order and structure will help prevent feelings of boredom, keep moods lifted, and prevent stress from taking over.
Play And Have Fun
The silver lining of all of this is that we can play! Do things we’ve wanted to do but kept putting off, play with our kids, our partner, our pets. Now is our time, enjoy the moments, find peace, and embrace connection.
Put the phone down, look up, and savour the moments you may not normally have noticed.