How To Stay Mentally Healthy During A Pandemic
There’s a lot of advice out there about how to keep yourself physically healthy during the pandemic such as washing your hands, wearing masks, and social distancing.
People are reminded of their physical health, but tend to forget is their mental health. It’s equally important and everyone should take steps to address their psychological well-being. Your body feels well, but your mind needs to feel good.
If you aren’t being proactive about taking care of your mind and emotions, you’ll face a mental health decline that will feel out of nowhere.
How a Pandemic Affects Your Mental Health
Disrupted Your Normal Routine
Your routine has been disrupted in some way. Having less structure in your day, a changing schedule, and uncertainty about how long things will last can affect your mental health.
Staying inside your home for extended periods of time can make most people feel restless and anxious. It could be boredom or being stuck in the same space with people who are causing you mental distress.
Lack of Social Contact
Especially for people who live alone, having social contact with loved ones is limited and not being able to see them face-to-face makes it harder. While social media and digital contacts can help you stay connected, not everyone has someone to reach out to.
Social interaction is vital for your mental health, less contact can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.
Reduced Physical Activity
Physical activity is a great way to cope with mental health issues. During a pandemic, finding motivation and a location to work out is difficult.
Always keep your body healthy, it can boost your immune system, memory and general mental health. You can still work out at home, the key is to be consistent.
Not to mention, the stress from worrying about the virus and paying bills. It’s just two of the stresses of the situation that makes it difficult for you to function daily.
Keeping your business afloat, handling childcare and more. There’s a lot of uncertainty to deal with.
Warning Signs of Declining Mental Health
A general reduction in self-care includes substance abuse (Drugs and Alcohol), poor hygiene, lack of concern of physical appearance, negative change in sleep pattern and diet, drop-in work performance and self-alienation.
Declining mental health is often associated with anxiety and depression. Thoughts of suicide are the most serious sign of mental health issues, because of the serious dangers of self-harm.
Signs of suicidal thoughts may not always be clear, because they can start off minor and build up over time. Indications include expressions of hopelessness, lack of interest in the future and of course, personal neglect.
Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress
Take Breaks from Social Media. It’s good to be informed about current events, but constantly hearing bad news can be harmful to your mental health, making it feel hopeless.
Take Care of Your Body. Eat healthily, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, avoid substance abuse and take preventive measures from the pandemic.
Take Time To Unwind. Enjoy the activities you love, within the limit.
Connect with People. Take time to talk with your loved ones, it brings you relief. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, connect with Befrienders.
Go Out And Connect in a Private and Safe Environment. Make sure to wear your mask and practice social distancing. Avoid crowded areas.
Connect with Mental Health Services. As much as we believe we are okay, we may not be, and certain stress disorders require help from mental health professionals.
Remember your physical and mental health are equally important