Coronavirus Blues? 12 tips to Stay Mentally Healthy During the Quarantine
1. Move Your Body
It’s really easy to sit around and get sucked into remaining sedentary. Moving around, whether it’s a quick 15-20 minute walk around the block, tidying up around the house or following along to virtual workouts (like the ones provided by Network Exercise Solutions), gets your blood flowing and increases your serotonin levels uplifting your mood.
If you have a young child in the house whose schedule you’ve created to include recess, make sure you take recess with them!
2. (Virtually) Connect with Others
Social distancing does not necessarily mean social isolation. For those of us who thrive off human contact and connection, we still have the good ol’ telephone and apps like FaceTime, Skype and Zoom to keep us engaged and updated. Of course, this will take some adjusting so also remember to adjust your expectations around what you want, need and can give via these platforms.
This may be hard for many of us but this is a time where we can catch up on much needed rest. Let your mind relax. Try to limit your to-do lists for yourself to 3-5 things a day. When this pandemic is all over, there will be plenty of time to get back to the grind full force. Use this time to replenish and recharge so that when everything settles, you’ll be ready to tackle work at your normal pace.
4. Connect with the People in Your Home
Have meals together, play board games together, reminisce about fun memories, clean up together, go through old photo albums. This is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of quality time.
*Depending on who’s in your home, e.g. folks over 65 or those with compromised immune systems, you may need to maintain as much of a distance as possible as a precaution.
5. Religious Services Online
During this time, many of us don’t have the same access to the religious communities that comfort us. Try to create some semblance of normalcy by going online and seeing if there are virtual services offered. This can create an ample sense of community and grounding for the time being.
6. Virtual tours, Live Streams and Broadway Musicals
Museums all over the world have been offering virtual tours where you can access literally thousands of works of art here.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium also has live webcams where you can gaze at the graceful jellyfish or swoon over sea otters at play. Click here.
Love the theater? Now you can watch some of your favorite Broadway musicals online for free! This is a limited time offer but check it out here.
7. Art Therapy
It always amazes me when you get a blank piece of paper and some markers or crayons in front of an adult, how quickly their inner child comes to life. There’s something about letting your creativity flow and combining colors on a page in this tactile way that is very reminiscent of childhood and for many of us, reawakens something that has gone dormant. This truly is a catharsis like no other.
8. Limit Social Media and News
While it is good to stay updated, constantly being exposed to all the devastating news can take a toll on your mental and emotional health. Take breaks and try not to overwhelm yourself. Notice how you feel when you lessen time spent on these outlets.
9. Stare Out the Window or Hang Out in the Backyard
Cabin fever is real and it can be easy to feel claustrophobic in your space. Staring out the window can help you breathe deeper by expanding what’s in your immediate view. It gives you visual access to a world beyond your space and invites daydreaming and slowing down.
If you have a balcony or backyard or even front steps, try to spend at least 10 minutes there. Soaking up the sun is known to boost serotonin which can improve your mood.
10. Do the Things You Always Wished You Had the Time to Do
Have you ever found yourself complaining that there aren’t enough hours in the day? Or that if you had the time you would do this and that around the house? Now is that time. Go through old files, organize your closet, purge your belongings and prep stuff to donate. Cleaning your external space can be very therapeutic and help your internal world feel lighter as well.
11. Be Gentle With Yourself
It can be really easy to beat yourself up about all the things you should and shouldn’t be doing right now. Be gentle with yourself. This is a rough time for everyone and you’re working with a lot less than you normally have access to. It’s okay if you feel unmotivated, if you’re eating way more chips than you’d like or are binge watching shows on Netflix. That’s all totally fine as you adjust. Your body is also doing its best to keep you healthy. Show it some love and gratitude.
12. Remind Yourself of the Places You Have Agency
You may feel like you have control over absolutely nothing right now but that’s not necessarily the case. Remind yourself of the places where you actually do have agency. It might be what time you wake up or go to sleep, when you choose to eat meals, how often you take breaks from work, etc. Reconnecting to those things can help you feel more empowered.
For additional information about precautions you can take, click here or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public.
Be kind to yourself and to each other.