MIND OVER MATTER: MAINTAINING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH DURING THE PANDEMIC
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
Cabin fever has set in. Becoming your children’s schoolteacher has become a daunting task and the dream of working from home has become a real nightmare. Kids are eating you out of house and home and if you hear, “I’m bored!” one more time you’re going to lose it, right?
Every news article and report are about the devastation caused by the coronavirus. The numbers are enough to make your head swirl. Charts and graphics of a slowly flattening curve are becoming a confusing blur. Your state representatives are sounding more like Charlie Brown’s teacher every day.
We are in an overwhelming time. What we are facing with this virus is scary and depressing. It seems to hit closer to home with each passing day. It is crucial to be aware of and take care of your mental health. Here are a few ways to help you and your family cope during the quarantine.
Limit your media intake.
It’s on every channel. It’s the lead story of every newspaper and magazine. It has taken over every landing page of just about every website. It’s the subject of every other post on your social media timelines. Constantly being bombarded with the images and stories will being to weigh heavy in your mind causing stress and anxiety. Dedicated one time of day to catch up on the latest news concerning the virus. Listen to you state and local government officials daily press conferences to know what is going on in your immediate communities as well as receive a briefing on the federal government’s efforts. When scrolling through your timeline try to avoid the urge to click on every corona related article. Make sure the articles you do choose to read are from reliable sources such as the Center for Disease Control or www.cdc.gov. When you do see those followers/friends that are disturbing your peace with their constant opinions and political discussion, don’t be afraid to exercise your right to block or mute them from your page, even just temporarily.
Take time for yourself.
Self-care is multifaceted and imperative. The demands of working from home, schooling from home and keeping home are new and heavy load. You must take a break. Whether it’s an at home spa day, reading a good book, watching a movie (that only you’re interested in), or picking up that hobby you placed on the back burner, go to your quiet place and take some time off. You and your family will benefit greatly from it. As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Connect with family and friends.
It’s easy to become absorbed in the day to day of your own household and its members. It also become hard to be separated from your loved ones who don’t live with you. Worrying about aging parents and essentially employed friends can also be a stressor. Stay connected. Apps such as FaceTime and Zoom are great tools to utilize during this pandemic. While it will never replace seeing them in person using technology to see their faces can become the band aid needed to heal the pain of separation. Virtual happy hours, family dinners, and church services has provided face to face communication and peace of mind to many. Connecting to loved ones will not only ease your worry but also give you someone you may be able to vent to as well. Not into technology? A good old-fashioned phone call is just as comforting.
Focus on your overall health.
A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. A healthy mind fights dis-ease. If you have been wanting to start an exercise regimen now is a great time to start. Gyms and trainers are offering streamed classes for you to maintain or begin working out. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress. Remember it’s important to get fresh air. Take your workout to the porch or yard. Go for a walk or run making sure to take all safety precautions and practice social distancing.
Continue and/or seek counseling.
If you have been seeing a counselor or life coach regularly now is not the time to stop. Most providing services via phone, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, etc. If you were looking to begin do not let the virus stop, you from seeking the help you need. Find a practitioner who is currently accepting patients and begin your journey to better mental health and life skills.
Do not accept the notion that this is the new normal. Consider it as a necessary temporary change. Make use of this time positively, productively, and peacefully.
Author: Kierstin Tonic
Freelance Writer, Mompreneur,
Novice Cigar Aficionado,
Located in Willingboro, NJ
IG: @justme_8, @smoke_n_whiskey8