Manage Your Mental Health During COVID-19
Increasing numbers of employers allow their employees to work remotely, schools and daycares have closed their doors, and the governors are locking down states. In some areas only parks are off-limits. Most of us are rightly concerned about our health and well-being amidst all of this change.
There’s no dispute that social distancing is essential to curb COVID-19 ‘s spread. How do you keep some sense of normalcy in times of crisis, especially when you’re socially isolated?
Stress breaks –
It is stressful to have reduced access to food and daily essentials. We are all being cut off from our friends and loved ones with gyms closing, recreational events shut down, and bars and restaurants off-limits. Yet the stressors are more in charge of you than you think. Some ideas:
Thich Nhat Hanh says that when we calm, we “become still water, and we depict reality as it is. If we’re not calm, the image we represent will be skewed. If our minds distort the image, it’s not the truth, and it creates a lot of pain.” Relaxation is necessary to access the tranquility and happiness that leads to increased personal well-being. With parts on recovery, relief from non-stop thought, changing disturbing sounds, isolation, peace, and more, Meditations help in relaxing your mind and body and help you achieve the benefits of relaxation wherever you are.
Scientific studies show that meditation makes a tremendous contribution to well-being, general health, and longevity. How to Relax is a special gift for those who want a clear guide to deep relaxation, stress management and restore mental freshness and clarity, perfect for those who practice in any spiritual tradition, whether they are experienced practitioners or new to meditation.
News breaks –
• Limit updates. Watching the news the entire day will increase levels of anxiety. Tune in to the morning or evening news and shift to credible information outlets, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC) and the World Health Organization only once or twice a day.
• It can be more disturbing than informative after a given point. And decide how much you need to read in a day, and try to stick to that cap. Hearing about the situation and seeing videos constantly can be upsetting. Try to do some other things that you enjoy returning as much as possible to your life as usual. Allow time to unwind and know that these intense emotions are going to disappear.
• Use stress management techniques to their advantage. Think meditation, breathing deeply, and journaling. This is a great time to practice gratitude as well. Tools for meditation and relaxation are required to promote that.
• Keep in contact with family and friends. Touch base through phone calls, video chats, online gaming, and virtual happy hours.
Feel nice –
To limit the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to minimize our outings to the grocery store. Consider shopping online or home delivery choices. Set to choose your own items? Maintain a safe distance (at least 6 feet) between yourself and others, wipe the surfaces with disinfectant wipes, avoid touching the face, and wash your hands before and after shopping.
Eating healthy can be challenging with grocery stores restricting the purchasing of different products and recommending customers shop less frequently. Make the strategy more manageable with:
• Buy frozen and shelf-stable foods. Staples like frozen and canned produce, beans, and lentils will last longer and can be easily incorporated into recipes.
• Take stock of items in your kitchen and make yourself creative with cooking. Choose a recipe site where you will be able to plug in the ingredients you have on hand and see what is coming up. (You can also browse our savory, balanced recettes collection.)
• Beware of the section sizes. It is easy to overindulge when we’re cooped up inside. Consider keeping as much as possible your daily eating habits and reducing your reliance on take-out and drive-thru choices.
Walk & talk-
Exercising is important for both physical and mental health. Profit from virtual workouts and great outdoors when gyms are closed. Some suggestions:
• Go on a brisk stroll or run.
• Ride a tour of your neighborhood on your bicycle.
• Pursue new practices, such as Yoga, Tai Chi, or Zumba.
• Build an obstacle course at home. Include activities such as jumping jacks, squats, and pushups. Instead, fight virtual tournaments for your loved ones.
• Invite your children to move in. If you have kids at home, incorporate them into your workouts, and make it your day’s PE portion. Freeze dance, rope jump, hula hoop break out. The possibilities are seemingly endless.
Caring for your body –
Take breaths deeply. Stretching. Think meditation. Consider consuming fairly well-balanced meals, constantly rotating the body, having plenty of sleep, and strictly restricting alcohol and narcotics. It will further improve your immunity — and resilience.
Plan to cope with a potentially sudden drop in social contact ( e.g., canceling of classes & events).
One of the most prominent ways in which individuals are asked to help mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic is through social distance practice. That means staying out of places where people meet or gather, and keeping a distance from others (about six feet or two meters).
Many people seek connection and support from others in times of crisis, says Kelcey Stratton, Ph.D., resilience and wellness services program manager at Michigan Medicine, who is also a clinical psychologist. “It’s necessary to find innovative ways to keep those relations around each other. We can also take some consolation by knowing that we’re not alone and that we’re all in this together to protect our communities’ health and well-being.”
Write all your worries out in a journal before half your anxiety has fallen.
Create a regular list of what’s going well and note the stuff that’s going wrong. In spite of the current situation, you may be able to spend more time with your kids or read a book that you want to get to or learn how to cook.
Such suggestions are particularly relevant if you have a pre-existing mental health problem. When you have appointments with your psychiatrist or physician, keep them. If you are not feeling good physically, ask if they have video consultation options.
Information on the COVID-19 crisis is constantly changing. For the latest numbers and updates, keep checking the CDC’s website. For the most up-to-date information from Michigan Medicine, visit the hospital’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage.