As human beings, we are not used to being locked indoors. In fact, social distancing, often not being allowed to meet loved ones and friends, is one of the leading causes of mental health issues. Today many people talk about finding it difficult to cope with their mental health, issues which stem from them not being able to walk over the bar or watch a movie with their girlfriend or perhaps shoot some hoops with the cousins.
While it is only a matter of time for the pandemic to be over, and we’ll all hopefully make our way through it, you need to focus on maintaining your mental health. Sure, it is easier said than done, but we have a couple of strategies that should help keep you in a good state of mind, long enough till all of this is over.
Recognize that Anxiety is Normal
Just about anyone and everyone is going to be anxious when they read worrying headlines and hear about school closures. In fact, it is perfectly normal to feel this way.
According to many psychologists, anxiety is a healthy and normal function that alerts us to threats in our environment so that we can protect ourselves. If anything, your anxiety is going to help you make a decision, often the right decision of not spending time with large groups of people, making sure to wash your hands and not touching your face, etc. By taking these steps, you’re not just helping yourself but many others; in other words, you’re taking care of the community.
You will also want to get educated about the coronavirus. Websites like those of the World Health Organization and UNICEF provide the most up-to-date information about the virus. Plus, it saves you from having to get information from less reliable channels like so-called experts on social media.
If you have symptoms, it is essential that you tell someone about them. If you are an adult, visit a doctor immediately. Teens are advised to tell their parents and guardians about it. While coronavirus disease is mild for kids, it is still concerning, and the right steps need to be taken.
Fortunately, many of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 can easily be treated. So, you have nothing to worry about. Furthermore, there are many things you can do to protect yourself, like washing your hands and face while limiting face-to-face interactions as much as possible.
Find Yourself a Constructive Distraction
Many psychologists and behavioral experts believe that when people are faced with a chronically challenging situation, it helps to divide the issue into two distinct categories. The first category is the things they can do something about, and the second category is for what they can do nothing about.
Much of the factors that are causing mental health issues right now during the pandemic belong to the second category. What you can do is distract yourself. Watch a movie, play games, work on probably starting a business from home, work out in your garage, etc.
Find Other Ways to Connect with Friends
If you love spending time with friends, there are other ways to connect with them via social media, Facetime, or some other online medium. You can even join a few Tiktok challenges. How you choose to connect is totally up to you, and there is no reason why you should not connect with friends.
However, at the same time, you will want to keep your screen time, and social media time-limited because that isn’t healthy either and, in some cases, may amplify your anxiety. The best way to tackle this is to maybe only schedule an hour or so a day for social media and the rest to doing something else like painting or reading a book.
Focus on What You Can Do
Have you been trying to learn to do something for quite some time now, like how to program, design a website, or learn to play a musical instrument? Now is a great time to do all of that and more.
By focusing on yourself and finding a way to use all that time to learn something will help keep you mentally fit. Maybe start by making a list and go through them one at a time.
Don’t Discard Your Feelings
We all know that feeling of missing our favourite hobbies and time playing with friends. If anything, these are huge losses and can be very upsetting, even for adults. So, how do you deal with the disappointment? Well, start by allowing yourself to feel it; that’s the only way you can get through it. Allow yourself to be sad, and that will make you feel better soon.
We all process our feelings differently. Some may draw, others may listen to music, and there are even though that focus all that energy on something constructive like building something. The idea is to deal with it the best way you know how but don’t put off your feelings or feel afraid of experiencing them.
Finally, Be Kind
Yes, be kind to yourself and other people who might be in a bad situation. The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone. Some people have lost jobs, others their homes, and then there are those who have lost all hope. Kindness is the one thing that can help you feel better as well as those around you. If you see that someone needs help, feel free to help them, it’s an act of kindness for everyone.
If you are having strange thoughts, feeling suicidal, speak to a professional. Today professionals are better equipped to assist people who have these types of thoughts, and they can help you deal with them over time. If there is one thing this pandemic will teach everyone, it is being strong and kind to themselves and everyone around them. So, don’t be afraid to offer an act of kindness to someone who needs it.