Months into 2020 and normal as we know it has disappeared. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic and COVID-19 is spreading across the globe. When the focus is on the coronavirus, it’s easy to overlook mental health in favour of physical health. For those suffering with existing mental health issues, the pandemic can be particularly stressful. Here’s our top suggestions on how to cope with the chaos.
Mute Corona-related news on your social media
Constantly hearing about the pandemic plays havoc on your mental health, you might find yourself feeling anxious, stressed and down. It isn’t easy to just switch off from the news, especially because with social distancing you can’t help but check your phone at all times. The COVID-19 barrage is unstoppable: Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Google alerts, radio, TV. It’s all anyone wants to talk about in any conversation as well. Try and limit yourself by only allowing yourself to check social media or the news for a certain period at a certain time. For the rest of the time, here’s a guide on how to mute news using coronavirus-related keywords.
Do something that makes you happy
Little things can go a long way to make you feel better. Remember to busy yourself with activities that make you happy. Whether it’s watching standup comedy, rereading your favourite book or dancing to your favourite song, take some time to feel better.
Reading, especially, can be exceptionally comforting: it’s escapist, reduces anxiety and can make us feel more accomplished. For the next month ebook and audiobook subscription service Scribd is making its digital library free. This means you can access your favourite books online or make your way through your #TBR, at no cost. Or join the virtual book club Because We’ve Read’s international poetry swap and gain access to heaps of poetry to feed your soul.
Take care of yourself
Take care of your physical and mental wellbeing. If you suffer from anxiety, depression or OCD (or combinations of the three), the mass uncertainty can be especially taxing. But while you might not be able to take care of the world, you can take care of yourself.
Eat well to the best of your ability. Try to load your plate with foods that will strengthen your immune system and boost your serotonin.
Exercise as often as you can. You don’t have to go to the gym, exercise channels on YouTube offer plenty of varied and effective workouts for free. If you don’t have access to the internet, you can do your own workouts: skip, dance, take a jog or a walk (alone).
Take some time to pray, meditate or focus on your breathing. Try to connect with something greater than yourself, and remind yourself of your purpose. Use apps like Headspace and Calm to help you to become more mindful if that’s your thing.
Organise your space
Chances are you’re probably going to be spending quite a bit of time at home for some months so you might as well make your space more liveable. Get your Marie Kondo on and declutter and reorganise your space. If you feel like decorating, DIY can also be very satisfying and distracting. If you have to work from home, create a work zone that you will feel comfortable and purposeful working in.
Chat to your loved ones
Whether it’s on video call, or if you are lucky enough to live with people you love make some time to chat to them. It always feels better to know that you’re not alone and to have the support of those you care for in these trying times.
Living through a global pandemic isn’t easy, but wash your hands, stay at home and try to focus on yourself. This too shall pass.
Can you think of any more tips? Let us know @thedailyvox.