You are stuck at home, either alone or with family/roommates, and your only outings consist of grocery runs, picking up food from restaurants, or neighborhood walks. Social distancing has been put in place for an indeterminate amount of time to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Even though social distancing has proven effective thus far, it poses unprecedented challenges to both mental and emotional health.
Humans are social creatures, so the concept of quarantining for who knows how long is unnatural. Studies have shown that feeling isolated or lonely can lead to a number of physical health conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and several autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. In the new world of isolation, telecommunication, never-ending hand washing, face masks, and remote working, the health problems, both mental and emotional, we face are unknown.
Who Has The Highest Risk Of Psychological Troubles?
Despite the modern conveniences that are available to people, certain groups feel the emotional impact more than others. Statistically, the people who will be most affected include:
- People with a history of psychiatric illness
- Healthcare workers
- People between ages 16-24
- People who have one child
- People who have gone through some sort of trauma
5 Mental Health Tips To Help You Through The Pandemic
Obviously, you have to find what works for you during this time because each person will handle this differently. Someone who lives alone will feel different than someone stuck inside with roommates or family members. Take what you like from these tips, ditch the rest, and care for yourself because that is the most important takeaway.
Manage Your News Intake:
It is very easy to become overwhelmed when you are bombarded by the onslaught of news coverage about the coronavirus. From countless articles, news updates, and round-the-clock reporting, you can quickly build up anxiety and feel like the world is ending. Being informed about what’s going on doesn’t mean you have to be glued to every news story. Check for updates here and there from RELIABLE sources and limit the rest of what you read or watch to give yourself a much-needed break.
Please Go Outside:
Maybe you live in a place that is on complete lockdown, or maybe you are allowed to roam freely. No matter how you are living, absorbing natural vitamin D from the sun and breathing in fresh air can help keep you sane and healthy. Studies have shown that being outside can help to reduce stress levels and feelings of anxiety. Whether you are gardening in your backyard, walking your dog around the neighborhood, or simply laying on the balcony sunbathing, don’t keep yourself prisoner inside during the coronavirus pandemic.
Stick To A Somewhat Regular Schedule:
If you aren’t working (either from home or at your job) during this time, it’s very easy to slip out of your regular routine. Additionally, days begin to blur together and time can slip away. This can throw the entire body and brain for a loop. Before you know it you might be making your morning coffee at 7 p.m. instead of preparing dinner. Make sure that you keep your meals at regular times and go to sleep/wake up at the times that you were accustomed to. And please don’t forget to shower.
Try Breathing Exercises:
This may be one of the most important times to practice meditation or other breathing exercises. Mindful breathing or guided meditation can help you focus on your breath and tune out the rest of the world for that time. Start out with a few minutes at a time and try to build your way up to 20 minutes per day. Focusing on self-care is never a waste of time, and there are many online videos that can help you improve your meditation or breathing skills.
Foster Or Adopt A Pet:
Unfortunately, animal shelters have closed to the public. Even though you can set up an appointment to meet a dog at a shelter, adoption rates have taken a dive and shelters are reaching capacity. This is where you come in. While having a pet can be stressful, you will be home all the time and have the freedom to train and bond with your pet. Finally, having the unconditional love and companionship of a pet can reduce feelings of loneliness, keep you productive, and maintain feelings of sanity.