Amid a drastic crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to feel worried and overwhelmed. Pouring all efforts on slowing the spread of the virus matters to your physical health, but identifying ways to manage your mental health is just as important.
During the pandemic, people are prone to experience increased feelings of anxiety, frustration and impatience. The isolation combined with the uncertainty of the future can cause one to implode emotionally and mentally.
Feeling worried is natural,but you can increase your resilience during these trying times in many ways.
Take a Break from the News
Whether it’s updates on COVID-19 or even news on environment and sustainable development in cities, if listening to current updates no longer helps you, take a break. Turn off the radio and television or put your news notifications on mute. Also, try to do other enjoyable activities to regain a sense of normalcy in your life.
If you want to read the news, evaluate how much is helpful for you to read and stick to that limit. It’s important to know current events but hearing about the crises repeatedly can be upsetting.
Learn How to Cope with the Loss of Social Interaction
One of the most prominent ways the pandemic changed society is the need for social distancing. This requires maintaining a distance of approximately two meters from others, as well as canceling gatherings and refraining from staying in places full of people.
In times of crisis, many people seek comfort and connection from others. But social distancing need not keep you from establishing social connections. Video conferencing apps make it easier to see your family and friends during these trying times. Seek their presence online by connecting with them regularly via messaging apps. Call a loved one or a coworker. Exert all effort to see the people who can help you out – even if it’s just online.
Use Social Media Carefully
One of the best ways to stay in touch with people is through popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. These platforms are great at connecting with others but it also has some drawbacks.
Many well-meaning loved ones may spread information that is either misleading or false. The last thing you need is stress due to questionable information. Instead of depending on what people post on social media, always trust news from reliable sources such as news outlets or government agencies.
Do a “Worry Drop”
Write down all of your worries and fears in a journal until your anxiety levels have dropped. Also, make a daily list of the things that are going well. As the old saying goes, count your blessings. Despite the current situation, you can still take a break, spend more time with your family or learn a new hobby.
Get Therapeutic Sleep
People suffering from depression may find it difficult to sleep well during the night. The pandemic may have made sleeping more difficult due to increased fears over COVID-19. At the same time, lack of quality sleep can exacerbate depression, which results in a negative cycle of sleep and depression that can be challenging to break.
Good quality of sleep serves as an overnight therapy that strengthens your emotional endurance. Try your best to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Drink a warm cup of milk, take a hot bath and set the temperature to 18Â°C. Also, avoid screen time two hours before sleeping.
Regular Exercise to Treat Depressive Episodes
With months of COVID-19 ahead, it’s important to maintain a regular exercise regimen. Research shows that physical activity produces chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine, which are as effective as psychotherapy or antidepressant medication for treating mild cases of depression.
Since gyms are unavailable during the pandemic, it’s important to create a personal exercise routine at home. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise at least three to four times a week to work up a sweat. If you struggle with setting up a stable routine, start with a 10-minute walk, then add a few minutes daily.
Do What You Enjoy
Uncertainty of the future can make it easy to forget the things you enjoy. Make a list of things you want to do and do as many as possible.
Granted, you may have to adjust according to COVID-19 guidelines. For instance, if you enjoy contact sports, you won’t be able to do this. But if your friends want to walk in the park, you can join them. Just remember to practice social distancing. Or if you want to be alone with your thoughts, try a new hobby like transforming your yard into a garden.
COVID-19 poses a challenge to emotional and mental stability. But the pandemic need not keep you from achieving a healthier state in terms of emotional and mental health. Keep the suggestions above and stay strong during these trying times.;