Living through a pandemic has created some very trying times for all of us – not just financially, but also physically, mentally and emotionally. Even if you aren’t a healthcare professional or other essential worker on the front lines, it’s still difficult to cope with the dramatic change in lifestyle and stress we’re all experiencing.
Remaining in quarantine for an extended amount of time is difficult. We all react differently to stressful situations, but there are things we can all do to remain mentally strong. Here are some helpful tips to better manage your mental health while social distancing at home.
Tip #1: Take Breaks from the News and Social Media
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s important to take breaks from social media and the news.1
Even for those who want to stay informed, taking in too much information these days can be upsetting and stressful. Whether you are on social media, listening to the radio or watching the news, it’s hard to break your attention away from the current global crisis. It’s important to find a balance that allows you to stay informed without overwhelming yourself. Even if you typically check your social media accounts each morning, you may find yourself not wanting to be inundated with so much Covid-19 information first thing and might want to change up your daily routine a bit for the foreseeable future..
Tip #2: Remember to Exercise
As important as it is to stay on top of our physical health during this time, exercise can be just as important for our mental health. Whether it’s yoga, jogging or walking, riding your bike or hiking, participating in these physical activities allows you to take time for yourself and away from others and the news. Now that the weather is getting warmer, you may even be able to take your physical activity outdoors – just remember the social distancing rules while engaging in outdoor activities.
Tip #3: Practice Meditation
Even if you’ve never done it before, mediation is great way to practice self-care. Regular meditation can help anyone become more mindful and at ease. It can give you a sense of calm and physical relaxation, as well as improve your psychological balance and enhance your overall health and mental stability.2
Tip #4: Make Sure You Are Connecting with Others
Even though we’re unable to physically be present with friends and family at the current time, it’s still possible to keep in touch with others virtually. You can set up a Skype, Zoom or Facetime meeting with your friends or catch up over the phone. You can also send good old-fashioned snail mail notes or cards to others. There are many ways you can connect and brighten someone’s day, because chances are your loved ones are feeling anxious as well.
Tip #5: Try a New Hobby
With more time on your hands than ever, now is a great time to try something new. Whether it’s painting, knitting, photography or whatever else you’ve always had an interest in trying, it’s a great way to do something fun while clearing your head. If you are at home with children, you could also do age-appropriate crafts and activities as a whole family. It’s also a perfect time to start a weekly family game night or start some 1000 piece family puzzles.
Tip #6: Help Others
There are many ways to stay compliant with social distancing regulations and help others at the same time. Some ideas include:
- Offer to get groceries for at-risk neighbors and family members
- Donate to local food banks
- Provide meals to local hospital workers
- Make a monetary donation online
Helping others in this time of crisis not only helps the community around you, it also makes you feel good as well!
Tip #7: Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is a time to recharge your batteries, unwind from the day and prepare for tomorrow. Even if anxiety is keeping you up a night, getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep will help you to work better, feel better and stay healthy.3
Tip #8: Eat a Balanced and Healthy Diet
Even though we are stuck inside more than usual, it isn’t an excuse to forego healthy eating habits. While it’s perfectly fine to enjoy some treats in moderation, make sure that you are still eating meals packed with protein, fruits and vegetables. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help everyone in your household feel better both mentally and physically over the coming weeks.
We hope that everyone stays healthy and safe while we are all doing our part to “flatten the curve” and ride out this pandemic. As we all endure the emotional and mental stress of the coming weeks, it’s comforting to know there are things we can do to support ourselves, our families and our communities during this time. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to email us or set up a time to talk.