With the whole COVID-19 pandemic happening in our world right now, we have no choice but to navigate through a “new normal” and adjust to its unfortunate circumstances. It has struck fear and anxiety in many, which has put different aspects of life at stake, including mental health. For people stuck at home, mental health is an aspect that can suffer due to the many changes and uncertainties the pandemic has brought about.
In times like these, it is vital to be aware of our mental health in terms of our daily emotional state and our coping mechanisms. The new circumstances and health measures that we all have to adapt to can leave us feeling overwhelmed and vulnerable, and so we have to look out on our mental health and keep it at bay. If you are stuck at home during this pandemic, here are practical and straightforward ways to boost your mental health.
Take A Break From News And Social Media
The news about the pandemic can be too overwhelming as the updates and information pop out 24/7. Although it is essential to stay informed, allotting time off from TV news or social media can help you stay focused on things you can actually control and also on your daily responsibilities at home, work, or school. Another way would be setting a specific time in your daily routine for news and social media updates.
Journal Your Thoughts
Journaling is a simple way to keep track of your emotions and express yourself freely. It is an excellent personal avenue to air out your thoughts and emotions. If you are feeling bottled inside, give journaling a try and write down those feelings away. A daily habit of writing on your journal and maybe even doing a simple activity of writing down three things you are grateful for each day can help you track your progress and keep yourself in check.
Sweat It Out
Find a form of exercise and a routine that works best for you. Regular exercising keeps your endorphins high and increases blood circulation in your brain, thus reducing stress and keeping your body healthy. Remember, you are one workout away from feeling great!
Research shows that meditation and mindfulness are beneficial to one’s mental wellness. It helps restructure the functions of the brain and the way we perceive things. In these trying times, we might be feeling and thinking all sorts of things all at once, and so through meditation and deep breathing, we allow ourselves to get some headspace and feel present-moment awareness.
If you are new to the practice, you may want to try guided meditation applications. It is also good to pause for a moment and do deep breaths when you are suddenly feeling caught up.
Eat Right And Healthy
Our daily food intake and eating habits are two things we can alter right now to boost our overall health. More than ever, we need the vitamins and minerals from the food we eat to build healthy gut bacteria and boost our immune system, which is our number one shield from contracting the coronavirus.
Moreover, the food we eat also affects the chemical or hormonal balance of our brain, which affects our mood and emotions. Eating healthy may be a challenge for a lot of us, but it is one of the things you can control to stay healthy amidst the pandemic. Stick to whole foods and include vegetables and fruits in your meals.
Do Something New Or Revisit Old Hobbies
Give yourself some time to unwind- a mental break from your usual responsibilities and activities. If you have always wanted to learn or try while at home, now is the best time. Perhaps try out a new recipe, plant your food, or pick up a new book. While being stuck at home, it is also the perfect time to revisit old hobbies that you have been putting off. Maybe paint, play some board games or videogames, or play an instrument.
According to neurologist Dr Konstantinos Petsanis, MD, PhD, “Mental health repercussions regarding what is happening during this pandemic for people, today and beyond, will really be a problem in general.” This reason is why it is vital to prioritize and care for your mental health in these trying times.
Find ways and practices that resonate with you the most in making yourself feel happy and healthy. We are all stuck at home, trying to navigate through this new normal in one way or another. Remind yourself that it is okay to feel mixed up emotions and that this too shall pass.