Coronavirus has changed the way we go about our daily lives. Increased isolation, changes in routine, social distancing, and fear have all had a worldwide impact, especially related to mental health.
As the pandemic wears on, the impact it is having on mental health continues to grow. When we are up against threatening situations, our fear response kicks in. As a result, we are experiencing an increased challenge when it comes to maintaining good mental health.
It is more important now than ever that we focus on self-care to keep ourselves healthy and whole.
How do you maintain mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic?
Below are a few coping strategies that I have found.
Limiting media intake
With the quarantine in effect, people are now using technology more than ever. Although technology is a great distraction, too much can have a negative impact on your mental health.
Limit the time you spend watching the news and on social media apps to avoid negatively impacting your mental health.
Maintain a routine.
It is easy to lose hours on the couch, in our pajamas, mindlessly scrolling through social media or the internet with the extra time we are spending at home. Focus on keeping your normal routine as much as possible while also taking advantage of the extra time.
This is a great time to step back and examine your life and determine what improvements you’d like to see. This isn’t a time to beat yourself up but to look at yourself with new eyes. Pick up a book that you’ve been wanting to read, learn a new skill, or start that new workout routine you’ve avoided. This is a great time to figure out what you want your roadmap to look like and take action.
Socializing is an essential human need, and this quarantine has put a hold on the majority of our social endeavors. Used correctly, social media is a great tool when it comes to staying in touch with our friends and family.
Catch up with old friends and see how their lives have been going, play online video games with your friends. Staying connected will help you avoid feeling isolated.
Many mental health professionals have made their services available remotely to assist with helping others maintain their mental health.
The Mayo Clinic suggests If you have concerns or if you experience worsening of mental health symptoms, ask for help when you need it, and be upfront about how you’re doing. To get help you may want to:
- Call or use social media to contact a close friend or loved one — even though it may be hard to talk about your feelings.
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader, or someone in your faith community.
- Contact your employee assistance program, if your employer has one, and get counseling or ask for a referral to a mental health professional.
- Call your primary care provider or mental health professional to ask about appointment options to talk about your anxiety or depression and get advice and guidance. Some may provide the option of phone, video or online appointments.
- Contact organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for help and guidance.
We are all in this together. This is uncharted territory for most of us, so don’t beat yourself up. We are adapting in the best way we know!
Keep yourself occupied in healthy tasks, stay connected with loved ones, and use it to unwind and relax so you can go through the Coronavirus pandemic a smoothly as possible.