So far, 2020 has panned out in a way no one expected. During this time of uncertainty, our daily lives look much different, and with it, our mental health can start to deteriorate.
Everyone handles change and stress differently, and some people are understandably having more difficulty coping with self-quarantining than others. Whether your temporary situation is boring, uncomfortable, or downright miserable for you, there are things you can do to help yourself through it.
We’re discussing practical ways to help manage your mental health during this pandemic.
Although this period will be short in the grand scheme of things, you’re allowed to mourn all the plans and expectations you had for this season. Many people are coping with canceled graduations, weddings, and other significant life events. While some are living the tragedy of not getting to see their loved ones before they pass away. New moms are delivering babies without their support systems in hospital rooms. And young kids are missing their teachers, classmates, and the structure school gave them.
You don’t have to glaze over your emotions or downplay them out of comparison. We should acknowledge the hardships that we’re facing globally right now. Honor your feelings during this time, but stay determined to move forward each day with the goal of taking care of yourself and nurturing your mental health.
Here are five tips for taking care of your mental health right now:
1. Talk to someone
This can be a very isolating time, but just because you may physically be alone in your house, you’re not alone emotionally. Social interactions are just as meaningful, if not more meaningful, right now, even if they’re virtual. Schedule video chats and phones calls with your friends and family. Checking in with loved ones can have a powerful impact on your mood.
2. Limit stress-inducing screen time
There’s a fine line between being informed and being over-exposed. If you’re someone who’s constantly checking news channels and apps for updates, the information can get dark and overwhelming. Try limiting how often you watch or read virus-related information. For a daily dose of positive news, seek out the social media accounts that highlight upbeat stories, like @upworthy and @Goodnews_movement on Instagram.
3. Break a sweat
Give your mood the gift of endorphins by breaking a sweat. Set up a designated at home workout area, and utilize the thousands of free online workout videos the internet has to offer. Have some fun with a virtual hip-hop class, try your hand at kickboxing, or clear your mind with a yoga session. Whatever you choose, pushing yourself to move your body each day will lift your spirits.
4. Set a schedule
Try to stay as consistent as possible with the schedule you previously had. Set your alarm and wake up early, shower and change out of your pajamas, and eat meals around the same time each day. The more consistent your routine is, the more comfort that structure can bring you amid all the uncertainty.
If part of your daily routine involves taking medication for anxiety, depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, or any other mental health condition, continue to take it as prescribed. Communicate with your doctor and plan ahead so that you’re not in a position where you could run out of the medication. Don’t cancel psychiatrist, phycologist, or therapy appointments. Instead, ask your doctor about virtual visits or phone call appointments. (Most doctors already have something like this in place.)
5. Be Kind:
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, be kind to yourself and others as we adapt to this new reality. Most of us have never experienced a global pandemic before, so give yourself grace in this situation. Take the time to be gentle to your mind and body; stretch, take a bath, practice deep breathing, read a book, listen to calming music. Do whatever you need to do to maintain a positive outlook during this time.
The staff at Tucson ER & Hospital hopes you and your family are staying safe and well. We are all in this together, and as always, our facility is open 24/7, 365 days a year. If a medical emergency of any kind arises, we are here to help.
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Tucson ER & Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.