Looking after your mental health is important for your whole wellbeing. The restrictions and changes to daily life as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have led to increased feelings of anxiety, isolation, stress, and worry in some cases. Luckily, there are steps you can take to assess and improve your own mental health so that you can stay healthy.
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
Talking about your feelings can enable you to feel listened to and supported. As a result, you are less likely to feel lonely or overwhelmed by negative emotions. It can also encourage others to open up to you in return.
2. Look After Your Physical Health
Looking after your physical wellbeing will also help to improve and maintain a healthy mental state. Make sure that you are getting some exercise every day. Simply going for a short walk each day can help you stay physically active. You could also exercise outdoors with a friend or relative, whilst following physical distancing rules. Regular exercise can help to boost your self-esteem, improve your concentration, and sleep.
It’s also important to ensure that you are eating well. Aim to eat three nutritious, balanced meals each day, as well as drinking plenty of water. Limit your alcohol consumption and avoid relying on alcohol or drugs to cope, as these will do more damage to your body in the long run.
3. Create New Routines
The coronavirus pandemic has meant that regular routines have been significantly changed. With so many changes, the ‘new normal’ can sometimes feel very challenging.
“Daily routines can help provide us with a sense of achievement and stability. Try to create new routines for yourself and your family. As far as possible, try to separate work and school time from your family time. Try to incorporate aspects of your usual routine, such as a gym class, into your new routine by joining an online class instead,” suggests Rose Johnson, a health writer at Writinity and Researchpapersuk.
4. Stay Connected With Friends And Family
Although restrictions and social distancing measures may prevent you from meeting up with family and friends in person, it’s still possible for you to stay connected. You may want to schedule virtual coffee dates with friends via video chats, join an online group, talk to friends and family on the phone, or even meet outdoors whilst maintaining social distance. It’s essential that you maintain your social network and connections as these will help you to feel well, safe, and provide an outlet outside of the pressures of work for you to reset your mental state.
5. Take Time To Yourself
Between the demands of a stressful job and other responsibilities, it can be easy to forget to set time aside for yourself. Remember to be kind to yourself and set aside some breaks where you can have some ‘me time.’
“Whether you just take a few minutes to do some meditation or breathing exercises, go for a quick walk alone or read a book, it’s important to give yourself time and listen to your body. You could also take up a hobby. This will help boost your self-esteem and allow you to forget your worries,” says James Rosenthal, a blogger at Draftbeyond and Last Minute Writing.
6. Ask For Help
Everyone gets overwhelmed from time to time. During the coronavirus pandemic, with increased worries about our own health and those of our friends and family, it can sometimes be difficult to cope. When you are the one caring for others, it can be difficult to carry the burden and worry. It’s important to know that you can reach out and ask for help if you’re struggling. Talk to your family and friends, or seek help from a health professional or an online or phone chat support service.
Being aware of your own mental health and taking steps to sustain and improve it are essential, particularly during challenging times such as the pandemic. Acknowledge your feelings, ensure you stay connected with friends and family, and look after your physical health to promote a healthy mental state. If you are struggling to cope, remember that you can always ask for help. Above all, be patient and kind to yourself.