Here we are sheltering in place and staying at home. Some of us are working from home, some of us are just home. All the fun is canceled. We know we are all in this together, but yet it feels lonely stuck at home. It is hard to find anything to look forward to, but leaving the house. I have to say it many of us are afraid of what the future holds, illness, death, losing our businesses and lively hoods. Worrying about recovery for ourselves, our loved ones, businesses, and country. This isolation and thought processes are not good for our mental health. This blog is written to be a companion so let’s see what can you do to take care of your mental health during this time.
Number one limit the time you spend watching the news coverage of the pandamic. Once a day is enough. Okay twice. Turn it off the minute they start repeating themselves. You might need to stop checking the news on your phone 16 times a day as well. Yes, you need to know what is going on. However, this is one area where you can truly get too much of a good thing. The news can increase worry, anxiety, and depression.
Reach out to others. From 6 feet away of course. Texting is great. With people feeling lonely and isolated seeing the faces of loved ones and hearing their voices becomes even more important. Skype with those you can. If you have family who don’t have the means to Skype pick up the phone and make a real phone call.
If you find yourself suffering mentally and emotionally reach out to a therapist. Most of us are out here working through online video conferencing or phone. Help is just a call away. Some other things to do for your mental health: journal, meditate, read some self-help books.
Get some exercise and make it cardio. It is good for those brain chemicals. There are tons of exercise videos on YouTube. Yoga is great for body and mind. Add a little fresh air, go outside and run around the house with the kids.
Do go out if you can. Don’t forget you are allowed to sit of your balcony. You can go out into your yard. Fresh air and sunshine are good for your mental health.
With all the fun canceled, we are going to have to make our own.
- Play board games with your housemates.
- Try new recipes.
- Have a fire in the fireplace. Roast hot dogs. Sing songs. Sleep in the living room.
- Make it a spa day. Do nails. Face masks. Don’t forget a bubble bath.
- Have a nice dinner with fine china, candles, and wine.
- Watch movies. Popcorn and soda required.
- Binge watch your favorite tv show.
- Have a dance party! With kids, your mate, or by yourself.
- Learn something new. Tons of resources on the intenet.
- Pick up your old hobby again.
- Do you have a coloring book? There are coloring pages on line.
- Read that stack of mysteries or magazines you’ve been collecting.
- Play dress up with the kids.
- Find Pinterest projects. Actually do them!
You might engage in some activities that help you to focus on your future. This should decrease feelings of wasting time and the anxiety that comes with that. Working to make the future brighter will lessen feelings of depression.
- If your profession requires continuing education here’s a space to get them done.
- Paint that room you already bought the paint for 2 years ago. I know I am not alone here. Maybe freshen up the kitchen cabinets or a chair. Paint all your picture frames to match?
- Bring back that old fashion idea of spring cleaning. Here is a huge block of time to get things cleaned and organized like you always wanted.
- Fix some things that are broken.
- Get the junk cleaned off your devises.
- Start writing that book. You always said “some day.” Well it’s some day.
- Start earning your degree online. Again some day has arrived.
- Finish that quilt you started years ago.
- Start your veggie garden.
Last and maybe most important, try to keep a good attitude. This can be key to your good mental health. Remember you have not been singled out, we are all in this with you. There are still flowers blooming, birds singing, and babies smiling. And you have time today to stop and appreciate those things and many others. Breath in, breath out, and smile. Practice gratitude. Plan for your future. There will be a day when this has passed.