Last week, I talked about how to stay active during stay-at-home orders but this week I'll share my thoughts on how to take care of your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the biggest problems I have is disconnecting from all the news and information from social media, texts, co-workers. Sometimes you just have to put that phone in a drawer and take a deep breath. The National Institutes of Health put together this great guide for how to get through any stay-home orders or business closures, and turning off electronics plays a part in those recommendations.
I hate to use the term self-love because it has different connotations for me, but I just used it. Practice it. Chillaxing takes on different forms for different people, but here are some of my ideas:
Shut the Door
Sometimes the best solution is to get away from it all. In this case - to another room in your home, if possible. If you have kids or a bouncing-off-the-walls partner, you may have to schedule that time so others know not to bother you. If you are part of the work-from-home posse, like me, maybe that means blocking off some time on your calendar.
What do you do now?
STITCH! Grab a book. Listen to a podcast. Read a magazine. Nap. Stare into space. Play Animal Crossing. Whatever floats your boat. The point is to have some quiet time to yourself, without interruptions.
Seriously! You can't stay miserable too long when you are dancing! Turn on your favorite music on Spotify and dance around your living room for 5 minutes. Don't know where to start? Pick a character from Peanuts and start moving! Suitable substitution: Karaoke!
Talk It Through
As someone who battles with anxiety and depression (and who watches too many news programs), I can understand that many people are struggling at this time. Being stuck at home - even if you are an introvert - can lead to feelings of loneliness and desperation. Add to that the need to home-school your children, work from home, do all your normal adulting and it can get overwhelming. Don't feel like you have to smile through this, pretending everything is puppy dogs and rainbows.
I'm a huge fan of therapy but maybe you can't access your therapist as much as you want or need to - adding to anxiety. Here are some ideas that I've heard while binge-watcing the news for the last 10 days:
* Nothing in this blog post is meant to replace advice from your healthcare provider or override your own personal common sense regarding your personal situation. Please stay safe, keep your distance, and be vigilant in following all safety and hygiene recommendations. If you, or someone you love, suffers from any mental health issues, including thoughts of self-harm, please reach out to a healthcare professional using one of these resources. If you are outside the U.S., please share reputable contact information with us so we can share with others!