It’s hard to stay calm when you are going through a time of fear and uncertainty. As of this writing, coronavirus is taking an enormous toll on our mental as well as physical health. Between health concerns, economic distress, and increased social isolation, many of us are under more stress than ever.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do some things to ease your anxiety. Use these tips to maintain your mental health regardless of what is going on in the world around you.
1. Maintain social connections, even if you can only connect virtually
Social connection is vital for maintaining your mental health. While you may not be able to physically visit other people in the middle of a pandemic, you can still reach out digitally and have phone conversations with people who care about you.
Schedule time for activities that immerse you in social connection. Texting and social media are a great place to start, but regular video calls are even better. You can also attend virtual events and classes from the safety of your home.
If you live with family members or roommates, be sure to spend time with them. Quality time with the people closest to you can help you dispel feelings of loneliness and anxiety.
2. Stick to a routine if you can
Maintaining healthy routines can give you a much-needed sense of control during a time of uncertainty. Your routine may be different from how it was before the virus outbreak, but there are still plenty of healthy activities you can engage in to provide structure to your day.
Try setting aside a regular time for healthy meals and exercise. You can sweat it out with a cardio training video, attend a virtual yoga class, or take a daily walk — while remembering to stay at least six feet apart from other walkers, of course.
We also recommend incorporating meditation or other calming activities into your day. Relaxation can do wonders for your mental health and general wellbeing.
3. Find a creative outlet for your feelings
Creative projects can help you deal with anxiety. Whether you play the guitar, paint watercolor landscapes, or experiment with new recipes, creativity allows your unconscious brain to process your feelings and decrease stress.
If you don’t already have a go-to creative outlet, try a new activity to see if it improves your wellbeing. Many people find that drawing, writing, or playing a musical instrument soothes their emotional pain. You could also take up woodworking or finish a household project.
4. Take care of your body
Healthy food, water consumption, and exercise can go a long way toward improving your mental wellbeing. Physical and mental health are linked, and improving one often helps with the other.
Try to eat balanced meals with a generous portion of produce, whether it’s fresh squash or canned green beans. You may need to get creative to work with the ingredients that are available, but that can be part of the fun.
5. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help
There’s no shame in seeking help from a mental health professional. Many people from all walks of life have found healing from counseling, therapy, and other mental health services.
If you think you could benefit from professional help, get in touch with Sunrise. We offer genuine compassion, care, recovery, and hope to individuals throughout our Pacific Northwest community, including people with behavioral health diagnoses. We truly believe that everyone deserves to live a full life, including you.
During the coronavirus outbreak, we will continue to offer care sessions via telephone and web-based meetings. Contact us today to connect with qualified mental health professionals and other community supports.