Mental Health in COVID-19
Isolation, global pandemic, economic uncertainty, police violence, and subsequent protests have combined to create a mental health crisis in our country and around the globe. The World Health Organization, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have all noted the mental health fallout of COVID-19. COVID-19 is anticipated to have short-term and long-term negative effects on the nation’s overall mental health, happiness, and rates of substance abuse disorders.
In short—it is a frightening time for most of us. As such, it is also incredibly important to check in with yourself and focus on the opportunity to take care of yourself during this time.
Here are some suggestions:
Try Something New
Any online classes catching your eye? Now is the perfect time to focus on some self-improvement projects, to learn a new skill, or to practice one that you’ve been dabbling with. What better way to come out of this pandemic than with a new experience and passion? Use this to invest time in your own personal growth. Challenge yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Some fun ideas include photography lessons, learning a new language, or brushing up on key skills that will drive your career forward. If you are creative, now might be the perfect time to express yourself through poetry, painting, or other outlets.
We’ve said it before, and research backs us up—meditation can be incredibly helpful for your emotional and physical health. It is excellent for calming your mind and reducing the physical strain of stress.
On the fence? Meditation is not about pushing away worries; it is about acknowledging them and moving forward. It can be a very freeing experience, and we recommend you at least give it a try. Don't like meditation? You can still practice mindfulness.
For those of you who enjoy musical meditation and miss the beach, tune in to our soothing beach meditation.
Isolation can trigger anxiety and depression. However, others in your life are feeling lonely too. Reach out to friends and family (safely) whenever and however possible. Drive by and wave, video call, share funny cat videos, and lean on your social media community. Celebrate little victories when and where possible.
The whole world is in this together, despite being apart. Treat the time you’ve been given now as an opportunity to revisit important relationships and reconnect with loved ones.
Treat Yourself (Well)
Binge-watch that show you’re obsessed with. Go for a mind-clearing run. Pop on that sheet mask you’ve been saving. Take a little extra time to cook yourself something healthy and fresh. Essentially give yourself the permission and the time to do something you enjoy. You are busy surviving a global pandemic, so congratulations on being a success.
Give Yourself a Time-Out
Log out of social media and the news for scheduled periods each week or each day. Whatever is going on in the world will still be happening afterward. Otherwise, it is too easy to spiral when there is doom and gloom on the news.
Have you heard of mean world syndrome? It basically means that over-exposure to violent, distressing content will warp you into a more fearful person. What that means to us is that we need breaks. Looking for some positive video content among all of this? Check out our COVID-inspired video.
Challenge Yourself Physically
All of us are experiencing more free time now, so there are no more excuses. Try out a new physical challenge. There are a plethora of at-home workouts that are safe to indulge in before gyms re-open. Yoga has the benefit of helping to center yourself mentally and is an excellent way to begin the day. Running also has incredible mental health benefits and requires very little equipment or chance of exposure. The only limit to your workout potential while at home is creativity and motivation.
The beginning of establishing a new routine may be hard, but some healthy endorphins are worth it. Speaking of routine…
Establish a Routine
It would be easy during this time to say that there is nothing to wake up for. Unfortunately, that is usually the depression talking. One simple way to shake out of that headspace is to make sure there is an established routine for each day. A specific wakeup time, healthy meals, a scheduled chat with a friend and a thirty-minute workout ensures that a day is well spent.
Healthy sleep cycles and consistent routines help prevent our descent into the dark and negative.
Lean on Spirituality
Whatever your belief system, it is important to lean on your faith (faith in the universe, in God, in your own power) during times of strife. Many church (mosque, temple, etc.) communities have moved online. Attending service this way can be a great aid in feeling connected. This is also a great time to read inspirational books, or to pause and reflect on personal goals and values.
There is a lot to take in with the current state of the world, and it can be hard to cope with. Overall, be kind to yourself and those in your life. There has been a lot to process of late, but luckily we have been given lots of time.
While COVID-19 has been hard for the entire world, it is particularly difficult for those who are already struggling. If you or a loved one is in recovery, cling to the tools of sobriety during this time.
Feeling like you can’t handle this by yourself? You are not alone. Reach out for a consultation.