Most of us wake up in the morning and turn the TV on or use our mobile phones to consume information about this rapidly evolving pandemic. However, this constant bombardment of information and news feels overwhelming, at times. It gives us a sense of how vulnerable we are compared to nature’s forces.
The lockdown and self-isolation can also trigger our emotions, making us feel anxious or stressed. While these feelings are completely normal because of the unprecedented circumstances we are in, it’s important to curb its impact on us both emotionally and physically.
6 Ways To Take Care Of Your Mental Health During The Lockdown
Here are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that your mental health is well taken care of!
1. Talk to family and friends
While some of us are living through this lockdown with our families, many of us are not. We’re away from home and the situation is getting the worst of us. So, pick up your phone and talk to your parents. They must be as anxious as you are, but sharing your thoughts will definitely make you feel much lighter and less lonely. Video call your friends and share a laugh or two; throw in a beer if you want. It’s also one of the best times to connect with the friends you’ve lost touch with. Connecting with each other, even if it’s virtual, sharing our thoughts, feelings and a whole lotta gossip can reduce the stress considerably.
2. Stick to a routine
While most of us would love to sleep in, because we don’t have offices to rush to, having a set time is important for our mental well-being. It helps us feel that we’re in control of the situation. So eat your meals at regular times, and have set times for sleeping and waking up. Unstructured time is known to create boredom and can cause spikes in anxiety or depression.
Also, try making to-do lists for the day. Striking things off at the end of the day is therapeutic. But also, don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t complete something. There’s always a new day for that.
3. Meditate/ Excercise
Instead of waking up to your phone, start your day with meditation. Research shows that meditation reduces the symptoms of depression and anxiety. A good 10-minute meditation in the morning can calm you considerably and enhance self-awareness.
But if you’re not the kind to meditate, working out at home is a good way to stay healthy and kill time. Anything that gets your heart pumping or helps build muscle is excellent for both physical and mental health. You can find workout videos online as well as tune into the various Instrgarma live sessions conducted by fitness experts.
4. Recite Positive Affirmations And Be Grateful:
When you’re washing your face in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror and say positive things like ‘You’re amazing’ and ‘You’re going to get through this’. Trust me, while this sounds stupid, it gives boosts your self-confidence in a hot second. Don’t forget to smile at yourself too.
Another thing to practice is to write down 5 things you’re grateful for when you start or end your day. Practicing gratitude for the things we have has been shown to have huge benefits for our mental health.
5. Get Creative
All of us have a hidden artist inside us. So let that creative being out and make her/him try something new every few days. Pursue that hobby you’ve been long ignoring. Draw, paint, sing, play an instrument, dance, use all this time in your hand to let the artist in you create. You never know, you might just surprise yourself. Also, you don’t necessarily have to be good at everything. It’s important to do these things just for fun.
This is the most important of them all. When everything gets overwhelming, and it will, limit your consumption of news and social media and just breathe. It’s important to switch off sometimes to rejuvenate our mind. Avoid news that could make you feel anxious and choose to read stuff that’s practical and helpful. Also, if possible, try to consume positive stories like 6 Positive Things Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak That Prove That The Earth Is Healing
That is it, folks. Yes, it is going to be difficult, but following these steps and allowing ourselves to feel everything, without beating ourselves up, is important. So stay in, stay safe, connect and breathe! Also, keep washing them hands!