How to look after your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic
This past year has been incredibly tough. People have lost jobs, gyms and restaurants have closed shop and relationships have been dramatically affected. The changes that Covid-19 have bought about may have led to increased feelings of isolation, anxiety, loneliness and stress. Remember that these feelings are normal and that everyone reacts differently. Here are some steps you can take to cope to look after your wellbeing.
Talk about your feelings
It is normal to feel a bit worried, scared, lonely or helpless about the current situation we're facing. Accepting your feelings and talking about your concerns with those you trust, can allow you to feel listened to and supported. As a result, you are less likely to feel lonely or overwhelmed by negative emotions. It can also encourage others to open up to you in return and you may be able to offer them support also.
Look after your body
Looking after your physical wellbeing has a big impact on how we feel and whilst staying indoors, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour that may make you feel worse. Trying to eat healthily, drinking enough water and making sure that you get moderate exercise everyday will help improve your mood, sleep and mental wellbeing. Avoid relying on alcohol, drugs or smoking to cope as these will all do more damage to your health in the long term.
Stay Connected With Others
Although restrictions may prevent you from meeting up with family and friends in person, it is still important to maintain healthy relationships with people you trust. Talking to those you have relationships with, may help to stop you from feeling overwhelmed and help you feel safe.
You may want to plan virtual hang outs via video chats, join an online group or just make the time to talk to friends and family on the phone.
Don't obsess over the news
Although it is important to stay informed, try to limit the time you spend watching, reading or listening to coverage of the outbreak, including on social media. To help, you may want to set yourself a specific time to read updates or limit yourself to checking a couple of times a day. When you do read the news, remember to use trustworthy sources and fact-check information from the news, social media or other people.
Set a plan for the day
Because of the coronavirus, your normal daily routine has probably changed and therefore, getting back into a routine can be quite difficult. However, it is important to maintain a daily routine as it can provide us with a sense of stability and normality. Starting your day with a basic plan of how the hours may be used will allow you to gain a sense of achievement once the day is over and will mean that you are able to more successfully separate work from family time. Structure and routine will allow for a feeling of normalcy during a somewhat rather crazy time we find ourselves in.
I hope this blog helped in some way. Remember if you're ever experiencing negative emotions and thoughts, always reach out to family and friends and national helplines for support.
Jess Jones - Freelance Blogger
I'm a nurse by profession and a writer by passion. She loves writing about her fascinations in health, travel and nursing.