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7 Tips for Taking Care of Your Mental State During a Pandemic
It feels like all that’s on the news lately is stories related to the pandemic. When you go to the grocery store, everyone is in masks, and Plexiglas is separating you from the cashier. Since your state is on lockdown, you can only go out for groceries, and your office building has been shut down.
With chaos and uncertainty in the air, it’s easy to become depressed and anxious about the wellbeing of yourself and others. It’s important now more than ever to take care of your mental state.
Here are a few tips that will help you make it through this pandemic with your mental health in one piece.
1. Limit Your Time on Social Media
Spending a healthy amount of time using social media is essential for anyone’s mental stability in general, but it’s especially crucial during a pandemic.
When you see posts related to the virus, your brain may switch into panic mode. Your mind is meant to problem solve, so it’s a natural reaction. That’s why you should limit your social media exposure to a few minutes each day.
Follow pages that post things you enjoy seeing. If a friend or a family member has the habit of only sharing posts related to the pandemic, unfollow them until things have cooled down. You don’t need to be reminded of the virus every time you scroll through your feed.
2. Get Information from Reliable Sources
Don’t get all your information about the virus from Facebook. Remember, you can’t believe everything you read on social media. Get your pandemic news from reliable sources instead.
Many clickbait articles you see on social media are meant to scare you, whereas official sources offer more factual information.
It is essential to stay up to date but when you’re seeking out information, only look for statistics in your area. Let your brain focus on issues on a county or state scale instead of a global one.
3. Focus on What’s in Your Control
When faced with uncertainty and chaos, it’s easy to start feeling helpless and scared. It’s helpful in these moments for you to think about the things you can control during the pandemic.
Take precautions by practicing social distancing and washing your hands. Check-in with your loved ones through phone calls and video chats to make sure they’re doing the same. Talk to your children and everyone else in your household about taking proper measures.
By practicing these precautions, you don’t only protect yourself. You protect your community, as well. You’re the opposite of helpless.
4. Keep a Steady Routine
Humans are creatures of habit. Being on a set schedule makes us happy. The problem is that when you’re in self-isolation, the days start to blur together.
After a while, your routine and sleeping schedule is all over the place. That doesn’t help subtract from the chaos. It adds to it.
Try to stick to the same schedule you had when the pandemic started. Get up at the same time you normally would if you were going to work.
Stick to your morning routine of taking a shower, getting dressed, and eating breakfast. It will help create some semblance of normalcy.
5. Stay Connected with Family and Friends
You can’t physically visit your family and friends, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay disconnected from them. You can give them a call or video chat with them.
You can also attend live-stream concerts together in the comfort of your own homes. If you’re working from home, you can reach out to co-workers and ask how they’re coping with everything.
Social distancing isn’t equal to isolation. If you try to get through this without talking to someone, your mental health will suffer. Humans are social creatures.
6. Stay Busy and Get Moving
When in a crisis, it’s a good idea to stay busy. It will help keep your mind off what’s going on in the world. Take some time to delve into the daily activities you enjoy.
Binge a show that you’ve been meaning to watch for a while. Pick up a hobby that you haven’t had the time to try out before now. Or, take an online university course.
Try out an online fitness class. There’s plenty of exercises you can do without fitness equipment. Keeping up with your workout routine and moving around releases feel-good endorphins that are important for mental stability.
7. Take Time for Self-Care
When people are stressed, they tend to dive into the wrong things to keep themselves busy. They work themselves into exhaustion or spend their entire day doing chores.
While working and cleaning the house are essential, they’re not everything. You’ve got to pencil in a little time for self-care. In fact, during uncertain times such as these, you need self-care more than ever.
Do something that makes you happy, like cuddling with your pet, playing a game, or reading a good book. Don’t forget about eating healthy and getting enough sleep.
Keep Your Mental State in Check in the Face of Uncertainty
A global pandemic is enough to derail anyone’s mental state, but there are measures you can take to keep yours in check. Stick to a routine, take the time out of your day to care for yourself, take necessary precautions, and above all else, don’t try to handle it alone.
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