With the rise of COVID-19, there is a growing importance on staying home and practising social distancing in order to slow the spread of this new virus. During this time stuck at home, it’s normal to find yourself more concerned with your physical health than your mental health. But it is important that you don’t neglect your mental well-being as you spend more time isolated at home. It’s OK to feel feelings like worry, boredom or loneliness as we all self-isolate or practice social distancing. You are not alone. We have some helpful tips to make sure you are staying mindful and taking care of your mental health as the world manages COVID-19.
We’re so used to our daily routines that this sudden change in day-to-day life can be a massive shock for some people. We no longer have to go to a job site or to an office every morning, or we no longer have to travel to meet clients or go to conferences. Our job life is different for the moment and that can take a toll on us. The first step to staying mindful and keeping your mental health in check is to try and keep up your routine the best that you can. Go to bed and wake up at the same times you used to throughout the workweek. Shower and get dressed as though you are still going into the office or at the very least in a business casual attire. If you are not working from home, but still find yourself stuck there, don’t fall into the habit of staying in your pyjamas or in sweats. Simply getting dressed in nicer attire can have a big impact on your mental health during this time. Even if you aren’t working from home, you can plan your routine around new projects around the house or a hobby you’ve always wanted to undertake. Which leads perfectly into...
Now is the time to try out new hobbies or take up old ones again. Focusing your mind on activities like writing, yoga, exercise or baking will keep it stable and relaxed. Do you have a book that’s just been sitting on your shelf for months on end just begging to be started? Read it! Haven’t played your guitar in a while? Pick it up! It is vital that you keep your mind active right now and avoid just sitting around watching TV. Your mental health only positively benefits from trying new activities so don’t be afraid to take on new hobbies. Speaking of avoiding TV...
During an already stressful time, the last thing your mental health needs is a constant barrage of news updates. Don’t spend your whole day glued to news outlets on your phone or TV. Instead, choose to only check the news once or twice a day. Watch news updates in the morning with your breakfast and in the evening after dinner. That way, you’re completely informed for the day on what is going on with COVID-19. Turn off your digital devices and the new more often and focus on relaxation.
COVID-19 and mental health don’t exactly go together, but this time can be seen as an opportunity to better your mindfulness. Relaxation techniques are the perfect way to slow things down and create calmness in your home. Practice meditation throughout your day and quiet your mind. Listen to relaxing music while you work or while at rest. Just breathe slowly and only focus on your breaths. All of these methods of relaxation will benefit your mental health, relieve stress, and help you forget about COVID-19, at least for a little while.
This section needs little in the way of explanation. You can’t forget to call, email, text, or video chat with friends and family. Staying in contact with the people who mean the most is important for your mental well-being. Call someone you haven’t in a while and reconnect with him or her. Set up routine video calls with your work team to check in on everyone. Don’t spend all this new time at home completely alone without speaking to anyone.
This is a stressful and uncertain time. It isn’t easy to adapt to this temporary reality of self-isolation and social distancing. But through keeping a routine, staying connected with loved ones, and practising techniques like meditation, we can ensure that the COVID-19 virus won’t harm our mental health & well-being.