One of the most overlooked aspects of the current coronavirus health crisis is the effect it is having on mental health. Managing to keep calm when the world seems to be falling apart around you is no small feat, especially when you are undertaking self-isolation measures and staying indoors. With the crisis projected to go on for the foreseeable future, here are some tips to help you look after your mental health in these challenging times.
- Limit the Time You Spend on Social Media
If you find the seriousness of the crisis is getting to you and affecting your mood, try to cut down on the amount of time you are spending on social media. While it may seem like apps like Facebook and Twitter offer you an invaluable escape into an online community, much of what you will be exposed to will be depressing news stories of coronavirus-related suffering. Fill the time you usually spend looking at your phone by doing something productive instead.
- Video-call Your Friends and Family Regularly
Being forced to stay at home for long periods can lead to feelings of isolation. Many of us normally rely on our social support networks to maintain a positive outlook, but being on lockdown has made keeping contact with our friends and family much more difficult. Luckily, the internet provides users with myriad ways in which to stay in touch with our nearest and dearest through the medium of videoconferencing. If you feel like you are in need of human interaction, organize a video call with a group of friends so you can chat about whatever is on your mind.
- Take Regular Exercise
The mental health benefits of staying active are well-known. A great way to take your mind off the dire state of affairs is to get on that dusty exercise bike and get your heart pumping blood around your body. Aside from feeling much more energized, you will probably notice an immediate improvement in your mood as the endorphins are released in your brain.
- Keep a To-Do List
Many of the feelings of stress and anxiety that people tend to feel when they are trapped indoors for long periods come from worries about being unproductive. To combat these feelings, write a to-do list at the start of every day. It does not matter how small your targets (they might consist of menial tasks such as doing the washing or cleaning the car); the feeling of accomplishment that you will be left with after striking them off your list will go a long way to helping you stay positive about life.
If one thing is for certain, it is that staying home would be much harder if we did not have the internet to stay in touch with each other. Too much of a good thing, however, is never a good thing; try to cut down on screen time and stay active, all the time keeping in mind that, though it may not seem like it, things will get back to normal soon.