The world was stressful enough before the pandemic. What happened just gave fuel to the fire and as a result stress, anxiety and mental health issues increased.
And this is a normal response to a global traumatic event such as this one. The pandemic has caused many to experience challenging situations such as job loss, pay cuts, sickness, and deaths of loved ones.
The measures implemented to keep one safe such as social distancing and quarantines, are also an unfamiliar territory that we have all had to navigate.
The result of all this is the increased stress, anxiety and worsening of mental health. You have to be mindful of your mental state and actively try to keep in a healthy state.
Your mental health is as important as your physical health. Neglecting each of them usually affects both of them negatively. Here are the 20 best tips to help your mental health during the pandemic.
20 Best Tips To Help Your Mental Health:
1. Go To Therapy Online.
Counseling is a strategy that helps keep you mentally healthy because of the sharing process.
Being isolated and facing sudden shifts in your daily routines, requires healthy conversations about it.
Bottling up your thoughts and emotions about this may lead to depression, stress, and anxiety.
You can talk to your friends regarding such dynamics however a professional is trained and experienced to help you discover different survival tools that you can implement throughout the pandemic and beyond to maintain your mental health.
If the situation is not allowing you to visit them in person, try to do it online. It has been showing great signs of effectiveness.
Counseling is a safe space where you don’t face any judgment of how you are experiencing the realities of the pandemic. Portneuf Valley Family Center offers counseling that will help you navigate the challenges that have been brought about by the pandemic.
Unplugging is the practice of deliberately switching off your gadgets. These may be in the form of television, phones, tablets, and radios.
This year has been saturated with news about the pandemic which is helpful for you to be aware of facts and directives.
However, constant soaking in of death and infection tolls, for example, may lead you to become anxious.
You may begin to feel as if the virus is lurking by your door and this may lead to mental and physical paralysis.
You can subscribe to certain news sites to keep afloat with developments, however, find time where you can completely unplug to refresh your mind.
3. Get Quality Sleep.
You need to rest your body and mind for you to maintain mental wellness. Lack of sleep releases stress hormones which affect people differently.
You may start hallucinating, experiencing confusion, memory loss, and mental fog.
You can implement practices that may help bring about quality sleep such as light exercises before bed, a dim room, comfortable bedding, a hot bath or beverage before bed, and switching off all gadgets that need you to be alert an hour before you go to bed.
4. Practice Journaling.
The pandemic has brought about a shock factor because for many, this is they’re first time to experience a global event of this magnitude.
It requires a level of processing the events and outcomes that have been brought about by the pandemic.
You may be confused, overwhelmed, and filled with worry about the future as a result.
It may help to keep a journal where you write down your thoughts and emotions so, you can process and make sense of them.
Such notes will also help when you attend counseling sessions as these are topics that you can discuss with your therapist.
5. Keep In Touch with Loved Ones, Friends and Family.
Social distancing measures have meant that you aren’t able to socialize with your loved ones as you used to.
This however doesn’t mean that you don’t need the socialisation aspect for mental wellness.
Make sure to make use of the digital space that allows people to connect regardless of location.
The interaction helps with mental wellness because extreme isolation may cause negative thoughts and habits.
6. Practice Breathing Meditation.
Meditation is the art of releasing your attachment to your thoughts and becoming present with yourself. You can let your thoughts flow freely by various different techniques.
One of them is deep breathing and you can use it to clear and quieten your mind.
When you meditate, you move away from external chatter and inwardly focus.
This helps to regulate your heartbeat which may have been heightened throughout the day and may relax your body which may have been carrying tension.
There is no one correct way of meditating. You may have to explore different styles before you discover the ones that relax you the most.
7. Try to Think Positive Thoughts.
Positive thinking is spoken about so frequently that it may be starting to resemble a mindless statement. However, positive thinking helps your mental health.
When you think negative thoughts or imagine negative scenarios, your body releases stress hormones because your mind would have sent a message as if you were experiencing what you were thinking about at that moment.
When your body perpetually carries stress, you may begin to experience physical ailments.
There are different hacks that you can try such as the rubber band method. This requires wearing elastic around your wrist the whole day and lightly snapping it whenever you catch yourself lost in negative thoughts.
The snapping of the elastic band means you mindfully replace the negative thoughts with positive ones.
Repetition of this may eventually become a lifestyle without the use of the elastic.
8. Avoid Assumptions.
Social media is filled with speculative articles about the pandemic, opinions, and unfounded comments.
Constantly engaging in these may result in you accepting these as facts.
You may become alarmed and confused in the process.
Make sure to filter out the information you are receiving on various social media platforms.
Make sure to follow reputable sites that don’t engage in panic news.
9. Practice Thankfulness.
The pandemic has meant many have lost jobs, loved ones, freedom, and a sense of control.
It is only normal and is encouraged to mourn any loss that you may be experiencing. As you mourn, you can practice thankfulness as this may help you in the process.
Practising thankfulness means counting the positive that is in your life despite the pandemic.
This may be your health, your family, or a meal and a hot bath. Being mindful of these may help you through the dark days better than when you solely focus on all that isn’t going as you had initially planned.
It’s tempting to sit on the couch and watch television when you are spending most of your time at home.
This however doesn’t encourage mental wellness. You must include daily exercises in your routine.
Exercise releases endorphin hormones which are in charge of how you feel mentally and emotionally.
Exercises at home can include dancing, jumping jacks, lunges, walking up and down the stairs, and lifting weights.
You can get creative by using the furniture in your home to turn into a make shift gym.
The point is to get your body moving enough to sustain your mental wellness.
11. Engage In Hobbies.
If you are spending so much time at home during the pandemic due to quarantine, this is the time for you to engage in your home hobbies.
Immersing yourself in hobbies is a way to distract you from the constant worries and anxieties that may have become a part of your daily life.
Hobbies can include reading books, writing stories, baking, experimenting with new cooking recipes, or interior decor.
If your hobbies were mostly outdoor based, this may be the time to discover some that you may enjoy indoors.
12. Learn New Skills.
Learning new skills while you are in your home is a way that you can maintain mental wellness and maintain your brain plasticity.
The challenge of learning foreign activities keeps your mental activity at its peak.
You are also distracted from the negativity around at that moment and excited to accomplish new activities.
This means that you release feel good hormones which are important for mental wellness.
For example, you can take on a DIY project. You can make a table out of pallets meaning you would have enhanced your living interior.
Instead of spending time online watching endless reports about the pandemic, you should go onto platforms such as YouTube which have endless videos that teach you how to DIY.
13. Avoid Substance Abuse.
Substance abuse is easy to begin when in isolation during the pandemic.
Some may find that alcohol and drugs help to numb the emotional and mental pain that they may be experiencing as a result of the pandemic.
The temporary high that alcohol and drugs may provide will do more harm in the long run.
You may become addicted and face mental hardships as a result.
If you suspect that you may be experiencing substance abuse, you must seek professional guidance before it turns into a downward spiral.
14. Take Advantage of The Outdoors.
Those who have backyards should take advantage of the space. You can sun soak or enjoy the breeze by placing your chair in the yard and simply breathing in.
Those who are in confined spaces can still enjoy the healing that the outdoors brings.
Make sure to open all your windows when you wake up so that your mind is woken up by the gentle breeze.
If you can stand on your balcony to soak in the sun rays, you should do so without hesitating, at least 20 min per day.
Depending on your location, if a stroll in the park is allowed, you should take advantage of this allowance.
Nature has a calming effect on the mind which is needed for mental wellness.
15. Break Up the Monotony.
Monotony can cause boredom which leads to negative thoughts, depression, and anxiety.
As much as you may be constrained in your particular space, you should try finding ways to break up the monotony.
Get creative about how you can interrupt routine as this may add unexpected experiences in your day.
For example, switch up how you wear your hair, your dressing style during your time at home, the couch you sit on, and the shows you watch.
16. Have Some Fun.
You need to enjoy a good laugh during this pandemic. Comedy is one way of making light of situations that may otherwise impact your mental health.
You can enjoy a funny television show, share jokes with your friends over the phone, or search for a few online.
Whatever makes you happy and laugh should be a part of your daily routine during the pandemic.
17. Listen To Music.
Music releases feel good hormones.
You can make a playlist of music that makes you feel happy and uplifted.
When you wake up in the morning, you can play a few songs and before you know it, you will be moving to the beat.
You should also listen to songs that remind you of some of your best memories before the pandemic.
The trip down memory lane will make you realize that you can look forward to more of those once the pandemic is over.
18. Make a Vision Board.
A vision board is a space where you write down your future goals, aspirations, plans, and desires.
You can be as creative as you wish with your board.
You can cut out pictures that represent the goals you wish to accomplish, write down a list of what you want to do during or when the pandemic is over, or various purposes of your life. A vision board motivates you to look forward to the future and not despair.
Despair may lead to depression and a lack of drive to move through challenging times.
19. Know the Steps to Take When You Get Sick.
Knowing gives you a sense of control and reduces stress. If you get sick during the pandemic, you need to follow the set protocol.
This may mean calling a health care number to notify them of the symptoms that you are experiencing, it depends on your location.
From there, you are notified of the steps that you should take. You should contact a health care worker.
Once you have taken the stipulated measures, try not to obsess over your health state as this will only cause harm to your mental state. You may become anxious and depressed.
20. Practice Safety Measures.
If you fail to practice safety measures, you may become paranoid after the fact.
You may begin to obsess whether the few minutes that you went into a crowd without a mask, is the moment that you would have caught the virus.
To avoid such mental torture, you should practice safety measures. These include frequent hand washing, mask wearing in required places, and social distancing.
How to Put All of It Together:
Taking care of your mental health requires mindful preparation. To take care of your mental health, you should consider attending counseling, unplug, and enjoy quality sleep.
Journaling gives perspective to your thoughts and feelings. You should also keep connected with your social circle and loved ones, as well as breathe and practice positive thinking.
Avoid assumptions by filtering what you read on social media, practice gratitude, and do home exercises.
Engage in hobbies, learn new skills, avoid substance abuse, and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. Break monotony in your routine, have some fun watching comedy, listen to music, and make a vision board.
Know the steps to take when you feel sick and practice safety measures.
How to Use This Article?
👉 Step 1. Choose the 3 Best tips out of the list and start doing them.
👉 Step 2. As you implement the 3 tips that most resonate with you consider adding more to your daily schedule.
👉 Step 3. Aim to try all the tips in this article and see what of them serve you best.
All the knowledge on the planet will not help you if you do not take action.