None of these words were a regular part of our vocabulary 3 months ago. Then, coronavirus happened.
Now, kids are home from school. Parents are working from home – often with no childcare. People have lost jobs. Small businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Families are having to go without seeing one another. Kids are spending birthdays without their friends. Moms are giving birth alone.
This is a really scary time, not just in our nation, but in our world.
COVID-19 doesn’t just affect our physical health. It affects our mental health as well.
Life as we know it, for the short term, has changed.
With these changes come challenges.
We can’t control the circumstances surrounding us, but we CAN control our response. It’s natural to feel fear when chaos ensues. But, it’s important to remember that you have a choice in how you move forward. Prioritizing your mental health is more important now than ever before.
Today we’re going to discuss how you can take care of your mental health while remaining safe at home.
Though many parks and playgrounds remain closed, it’s still important to spend plenty of time outdoors. Time spent outside is good for boosting your immune system, replenishing your vitamin D stores, regulating your circadian rhythm, and even decreasing the effects of anxiety.
So what are you waiting for?
Drink your morning coffee on the deck. Lace up those sneakers and get out into the yard with your kids. Take a walk after dinner.
Don’t make it complicated. Just step out the front door and enjoy the health benefits of being outside.
Lack of sleep can be detrimental to your mental health. We know the negative effects it has on our physical health, but we often downplay how crucial it is to our emotional well-being.
Good sleep is restorative to both the body and mind. When your sleep is lacking, your body is running on a deficit. Symptoms of poor sleep include irritability, forgetfulness, and even a diminished immune system.
Not getting enough sleep can also contribute to depression and anxiety.
Prioritizing quality sleep each night is a simple and cost-free way to take care of both your body and mind.
Again, the connection between mental and physical health is strong. When your diet consists of food and drinks that aren’t nourishing your body, your metabolism will slow and you’re going to feel low on energy.
When you feel this way, it’s harder to get active, spend time outdoors, or pursue hobbies you enjoy.
Not to mention, eating foods that are highly processed or contain lots of sugar can cause nighttime indigestion and stomach discomfort. This can further the sleep struggle, which also contributes to depression and anxiety.
Good food and staying well hydrated are important for your physical and mental well-being.
When in a stressful situation, it’s important to find a healthy outlet for those feelings. Honestly, having a hobby that brings you joy is important all the time, but even more so right now. Obviously, with social distancing, in-person options are limited. However, through the use of technology, there are so many creative avenues you can pursue.
Want to learn how to play an instrument? Try virtual lessons.
Want to learn a new language? There’s an app for that.
Want to try your hand at drawing? Check out this YouTube playlist here.
Want to train for a 5k? Yep, you can do that too!
Really, the sky is the limit. Bonus – most of these are FREE!
When you are channeling your energy into something you enjoy, that’s time and brain space NOT spent dwelling on whatever scary stuff is happening on the news.
Yes, what is happening around us is scary. But, honestly, life is scary. We take risks every time we cross the street, get behind the wheel, or even step out of bed in the morning. It isn’t healthy to live in fear.
These coping mechanisms will help you prioritize your mental health, not just during the COVID-19 quarantine, but beyond. Let this be a catalyst for change – for good.
Remember that physical and mental wellness are connected and in order to keep your mind healthy, you’ve got to keep your body healthy as well.
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