The coronavirus pandemic has impacted lives all over the world and brought about changes to the global economy. You may find yourself struggling amidst reports of new cases every day and a death toll that seems to be on the rise. With changed daily routines, working from home, and the need for social isolation, it’s common to feel stressed and anxious. Depression and coronavirus also seem to be linked, with people all over the world trying to find ways to cope during the pandemic. Managing mental health care during coronavirus by learning about ways to manage stress and how to deal with anxiety is crucial to promoting self-care during this time.
Here are six mental health care tips that you can benefit from:
Connect with your loved ones
Social isolation doesn’t mean you need to stop connecting with the people who matter most to you. In fact, you should think of it more as physical isolation with greater social connectedness. Check in on your loved ones. Plan video calls, talk to them over the phone or just stay updated via texts. You can host watch parties, celebrate special occasions, including birthdays and anniversaries, and even play games online. Stay connected with the help of the internet. Social support from your loved ones at this time is crucial to help you cope with the situation.
Take a break from news on COVID-19
Since the past month, COVID-19today is the talk of the day. Whether it’s news channels or social media platforms, everywhere you look, there seems to be something new about the coronavirus and its impact. While being aware of the current scenario is important, receiving constant updates about the number of new cases and deaths can increase stress and anxiety. Take a break from reading up, watching, listening to, or discussing news related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Another important step to take is to make sure whenever you do look up news on the issue, you’re doing it from credible sources only. There are lots of exaggerated articles on the internet that can stress you out with their claims. At a time of such uncertainty and anxiety, the last thing you should be doing is relying on a WhatsApp forward or a random Facebook post from a friend regarding news on the pandemic. Refer to government-approved sources only for your news as it’ll save you the trouble of needing to fact check your sources.
Establish a routine and stay busy
You may be experiencing a sudden change in your daily routine due to the pandemic. Work from home, coupled with social isolation and the fact that you can’t freely wander around public places, can make you feel like your world has changed. You may feel lethargic, bored, and just want to stay in bed, but you should set a routine for yourself. Maintaining discipline, even at such times, can go a long way in helping you deal with anxiety. Plan out your day in such a way that you manage to stay busy. Whether it’s work, pursuing a hobby, or developing a skill, having a set routine will help to keep you on track and can boost your mood.
Speaking of routine, here are also 5 Ways to Establish a Security Routine in your “New Normal”.
Practise mindfulness and exercise
Mindfulness is a great way to boost your alertness and elevate your mood. Mindful meditation has been shown to result in changes in brain structures, improved concentration, and elevated mood. If sitting in a meditative posture isn’t really your style, don’t worry. You can be mindful in every task that you undertake and benefit from it – you don’t have to necessarily do it through a meditative posture.
While exercise may seem like a way to maintain physical health at this time, it offers benefits to your mental health as well. Exercising daily helps to improve your immune system and can boost levels of the feel-good hormones – serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. It can also result in lowered levels of the stress hormone – cortisol – and thereby, improve your mental health.
Along with regular exercise, pay attention to nutrition. Stress can make junk food seem a lot more attractive than it is, but greater junk food consumption can create a cycle of experiencing irritability and anxiety. Eat healthily and make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need at this time.
Do what makes you happy
Take time out to focus on doing what you love. The extra time you have on your hands now can be used to learn that skill you’ve always wanted to. You can also spend more time reading or writing something you’ve been putting aside for a long time now. Create a positive environment and engage in activities that make you happy.
You can even find that providing support to others in need can boost your mental health considerably. Whether it’s helping an elderly couple out or teaching a skill online to someone who needs it, your mental health may improve when you extend your support to others in need.
Count your blessings
Despite the drawbacks of the current times, don’t forget to count your blessings and express gratitude. Gratitude has been found to result in a better mood and coping and can help to boost your mental health greatly. It can also shift your focus to what truly matters and help you look at the positives arising out of the current situation.
Following these expert tips on mental health care in times of uncertainty, you can make sure you’re able to cope with the impact of the pandemic better and also help others do the same.