We have put together a list of some tips to manage your mental health during COVID 19. Current events can add unnecessary stress to our lives, especially if you are someone that worries about the status of the world in general. News and media meant to provide information can lead to excessive worry and fear. An abundance of social media posts from friends and family can add to the stress that may overwhelm and impact our emotional health.
If you are starting your day with news that causes fear and stress, spending free time scrolling through social media posts, having minimal social interactions, you may find that your nervous system in a constant state of arousal. This can lead to anxiety and cause disruptions in our sleep patterns. Our immune system can be compromised when our bodies struggle to find ways to wind down. In order to stay healthy and do what you can to take care of your mental health, find ways to calm your system and clear your mind. You might be asking how can we calm down our bodies and anxious thoughts during a time of stress and uncertainty?
- Get some exercise. Take a walk. You don’t have to touch anyone or anything. Spend some time moving around. Get some Vitamin D from the sunlight and try to clear your thoughts. You may want to listen to music or a podcast. Try to walk or ride a bike and notice the fresh air, listen to the sounds of nature, and enjoy yourself. Use this time to lower the amount of information that you are bombarded with. Notice what is around you. The grass will continue growing and the flowers will bloom even when so much feels out of our control.
- If you choose not to go outside, you can move around inside the house. Whether you find an at-home workout online or just walk around the house more. If you have mobility challenges, you can also do stretches from a seated position. Moving helps release the stress that your body is holding. Take ten minutes to stretch, breathing deeply while you do so. As you stretch your muscles and breathe into the movement, imagine your breath moving through your muscles and releasing the tension that you have been holding onto.
- Focus on what you can control, not what is out of your control. You cannot control that the virus happened. You cannot force others to abide by CDC and government recommendations. You CAN choose to limit your interaction with news or posts that increase your stress. You can practice the suggested hygiene habits. You are in control of how you interact with others and if you decide to avoid gatherings and public places.
- Create something. Color a coloring sheet, draw a picture, paint, or find things around your house that you can use to make some kind of craft. This gives you a sense of control, productivity, as well as a creative outlet.
- Eat something delicious. If you have more time available, you might have time to make a nice meal. Enjoy it! Try to eat some vegetables to nourish your body and fuel your immune system while you’re at it.
- Take your medicine as prescribed. If you are on any medications, make sure that you have your prescriptions filled and are taking your medications as prescribed. If you are having any issues, call the physician that prescribed the medication or call your pharmacy.
- Drink enough water. Staying home seems like a time to drink whatever you feel like, but make sure to be caring for your mind and body by staying hydrated. In an effort to keep your immune system strong, it is important to stay hydrated and eat well. Practicing both will help you manage your mental health during COVID-19.
- Realize that social distancing does not mean social isolation. Call your friends and family. You can utilize applications like Facetime, Google Hangouts, or Whats App to keep in contact with family members. Spend time with anyone that you live with. Smile or wave at others if you are outside. Isolation can lead to depression, anxiety, or negative feelings. We can continue to interact with friends and family members by using the applications listed above to check in.
- Take advantage of the extra time. Fewer social obligations means that you have more time for personal projects around your home. Spring cleaning, painting, going through some old clothes that you can donate. Clearing clutter can often be a way to help clear your mind and feel a little bit better about the day.
- Find ways to give back. Bring prepared food to someone that may be homebound or older. Donate some items. Send someone a nice card. By doing something for someone else it may help distract you, generating feelings of positivity and connectedness.
- Seek Telehealth Counseling Support. If you need someone to talk to during this stressful time it may be helpful to reach out for professional counseling. Telehealth Counseling is available. Managing your mental health during COVID-19 is vital to keep yourself healthy. Telehealth Counseling may be approved by your insurance company during this time. Please feel free to contact our office directly at 610-248-0059 or by Email: Kcoughlnlcsw@gmail.com.
To learn more about the Online Telehealth Counseling Program at Ocean Vista Counseling please click here.
To learn more about COVID-19 please visit the Centers for Disease Control by clicking here.