COVID-19 is spreading exponentially around the globe and it’s a scary time with a lot of uncertainty. If you’re experiencing a lot of stress or feeling like your mental health is suffering at this time, just know that your thoughts and feelings are valid and it is okay to be scared.
A friend of mine shared these 5 suggestions to keep sane if you’re home and feel okay. With her permission I wanted to paraphrase them here so that they will reach more people.
1. Move your body
It could be as simple as spring cleaning or going for a bike ride, but move your body everyday. It will keep your mind happy and your body alert.
Also, being outside is one of the better things you can do right now. The weather is getting nicer in the Northern hemisphere and the outdoors isn’t cancelled!
2. Connect with people
Make time each day to connect with others. Keep your distance and connect with friends and family over the phone or internet rather than in-person for a few weeks to contain the spread of the virus.
If you have family or roommates at home now is a great time for you to engage with one another and tune out of the media frenzy for a few hours a day. At the very least have a conversation online with real people.
3. Take breaks from screens and the media
We’re constantly hearing on the news that cases of COVID-19 are growing exponentially, but remember that this is a pandemic not an apocalypse. It is serious, but there are people who have gotten sick from COVID-19 and a vast majority of them are better now. There is too much information already and it can easily be overwhelming and consuming so taking a break from your phone and the media may help you feel less anxious.
4. Take each day at a time
What do you need and what do you feel like today? Focus on the here and now and not the uncertainty of tomorrow.
5. Establish a routine to support your health
Pick what is important to you and make habits. This could be showering, eating when you’re hungry, talking to a friend, playing with the kids, reading a book or starting a project around the house.
As a bonus I also want to add the following:
6. Help other people
Doing something helpful and caring for others will undoubtedly make you feel more positive and less helpless. Especially take note of our most vulnerable population which is those who are over the age of 60.
Try to check on your elderly neighbours and, if you can, see if they need anything from the store (you can even order it online for them) and offer to leave it on their doorstep to limit their exposure.