With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are not able to be with our loved ones in person. Some of us have lost jobs, we may be dealing with a heavy loss in our businesses, or could be fighting an illness all alone. Many people are lonely and feel isolated. With all of these probable situations in mind, here are five steps to take care of your mental health during a crisis.
- Connect with People
Most of us are stuck inside our homes and are still not able or feel safe enough to connect with other people in person. Extroverts are fueled by the energy of others, so it’s crucial for them to connect with others through virtual mediums.
Many people are making use of video calling apps, social media, and phone calls to stay connected. You can also create Zoom meetings, happy hours, virtual book clubs, or even weekend brunches complete with bottomless mimosas to keep some normalcy of socializing with friends and family.
If you feel there is a need for more connection, there are online therapy sessions and counselors available.
- Keep Yourself Active
Don’t lose motivation by sleeping all day or binging too much Netflix. Make it a priority to move your body and stimulate your brain. Exercise, practice yoga, meditate, and practice mindfulness to keep your life as stress-free and active as possible. Take advantage of outdoor activities, socially distanced, of course, to clear your mind with fresh air. Or declutter or rearrange your home if you feel it needs some changes. The bottom line here is to keep moving, mentally and physically.
- Eat Healthy Meals
A healthy diet not only nourishes your mind but your body as well. It’s too easy to acquire unhealthy eating habits in isolation, but don’t fall into that trap. Small changes make a big difference, like swapping heavy cream for yogurt, maple syrup or honey instead of sugar, and substituting refined flour with whole wheat flour, etc. You don’t have to keep away from your favorite foods, but you should select the ones that’ll benefit your body.
- Cut Back on Caffeine and Alcohol
Consuming more alcohol and caffeine than usual may seem like the answer in the moment, but too much can lead to dehydration and affect your overall health. Instead, opt for water and low-sugar fruit juices, or even green smoothies. Not only will they keep you hydrated, they will also provide necessary nutrition to your body and mind. Keeping yourself hydrated will also boost your immune system.
We tend to push ourselves to perfection when we feel we lack somewhere in our work, and we get frustrated when things don’t go according to our plans. But that’s okay. Be kind to yourself. Do at least one thing that you love the most in your entire day. Dim the lights and listen to some calming music and think about the good moments of your life, or install some apps that help you practice meditation. Even 30 minutes of your daily “Me Time” can reduce your stress levels drastically. Create a self-love space where you can sit and relax, appreciating your present moments.
The Bottom Line
In such uncertain times, it’s easy to need people more, and to feel isolated and depressed. But remember, you aren’t alone. Stay as active as possible and keep your mind engaged. Don’t feel like you need to take advantage of the slower paced life COVID-19 has forced on us all to start a new business, renovate your living space, or change your body. Take it one day at a time, make small changes, and most importantly, love yourself.
Lee Abrams is a health and wellness influencer with a strong voice in women's equality. She has amassed a global fanbase through her years as blogger. Lee's focus and vision for SkirtSmarts as lead writer is simple, celebrate women.