Simple Yet Effective Tips to Take Care of Your Mental Health during a Pandemic
It has been over two years since the coronavirus pandemic emerged. Years that have tested our resilience, our morale and, also, our sanity, as we have had to deal with a health emergency like we have never experienced before. The new normal of telecommuting, temporary unemployment, or no physical contact with our loved ones has not been easy to adopt. It takes time and a lot of willpower to adapt and, as a result, it can generate feelings of anxiety, fear, stress and exhaustion that affect our mental health. What can we do to take care of ourselves? In today’s article, we bring you a series of recommendations to protect our mental health during the ongoing pandemic:
Stay Informed, but Control the Time of Exposure to Screens
To dispel the feeling of uncertainty, it is advisable to turn to official information sources to find out the latest time of COVID-19 in your country and in the world. Your country’s Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization are two references from which up-to-date information can be extracted. Now, we should not exaggerate our exposure to information about the coronavirus, as this could create more stress for us. We need to control the time we spend in front of screens, whether it is television or social media, so that we do not increase our anxiety. Set a specific time each day to watch the news and maintain this habit over time.
Follow a Routine
In a time when our social and professional life has completely changed, it is important to try to maintain a routine of our own that gives meaning to our daily lives. Knowing what to expect helps us manage stress and gives us confidence. Set a regular time to fall asleep, which ensures a good night’s rest; set aside time to exercise, whether it’s running outside or working out at home; and, even if you telecommute, be strict in organizing your workday so that you can also have moments of leisure and rest. Following regular guidelines can help us feel more in control, which reduces anxiety and stress.
Maintain Social Contact
At times like this, it is essential to know that we are not alone. The social distancing recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should not result in social isolation. Therefore, take care of your personal relationships and look for moments of connection with your loved ones every day. A video call, a WhatsApp, a phone call, an email… technology offers us many opportunities to maintain social contact during a pandemic. And it’s important to do so for our mental health.
Consider this also when dealing with your elders or people who don’t have access to the internet. In this case, try to get together with all the hygienic and precautionary measures (social distance, mask, outside, small groups, etc.) so that no one is left out in this situation. Strengthening our social connections will help us improve our mood and look at life with optimism.
Find Time to Relax and Unwind
In the routine you establish, it is necessary that you also find time to distract yourself and disconnect. To reduce stress, some people use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and practices such as yoga. If you’ve never tried it, now might be the time to give it a try. If that doesn’t work for you, look for activities that make you happy and keep your mind busy, away from the current coronavirus. Cooking, gardening, crafting or watching your favorite show for the umpteenth time will help you feel better and see the positive side of a situation that is testing us all.
If you follow those simple yet effective tips, you should be able to take proper care of your mental health during these unprecented days. How have you been dealing with the pandemic so far? Share everything with us in the comments below.