The world has significantly changed after the Coronavirus broke out in the later part of 2019. No one was prepared for it and the major changes that came along with it. The virus is highly infectious and can be transmitted when an infected person sneezes, exhales or coughs. Studies also claim that the droplets produced by the infected person can also fall on surfaces, and floors, and even hang in the air for certain periods. It’s so serious and contagious that countries all over the world have scrambled to contain the disease. Nearly a million lives have been lost.
The pandemic has led political leaders across the world to enforce home quaranties and close businesses. Employees now work from home, and children have to do distance learning, too. Being quarantined in their own homes (often alone) and the fear of catching the virus have adversely affected many people’s mental health. For those with families, it’s been extra difficult to cope with keeping the family together, managing the needs, while also staying healthy.
This global pandemic is the reason why more and more people now experience chronic stress and other mental health conditions. For you to stay sane during this crisis, take care of your mental health through these tips:
Talk And Connect With Others
Staying at home doesn’t mean that you can’t talk and connect with others. No man can ever live in isolation, and it’s important that you still converse with your friends and family members. Talking about your feelings and the difficulties you experience during this time can help ease out that burden from your chest.
Fortunately, through technology, it’s easier now to communicate with family and friends even when you’re not in the same physical location. There are video conferencing tools you can use to communicate virtually and real-time. You can even organize virtual get-togethers with your friends, as these video conferencing apps can also accommodate multiple callers at the same time.
If you need help managing your mental health, you can also schedule a virtual consultation and therapy sessions with mental health professionals. Visit Jacksonhousecares.com to start.
Play Something Fun!
Being quarantined at home can get boring, especially when you’ve been isolated for quite a long time. Apart from school, work, and chores at home, it’s easy to feel like you’ve run out of ideas of fun things to do at home.
Give yourself and your family a break by doing something that you love, at least once a day. Perhaps you can insert this in the afternoon once all your tasks are done. Having fun and sharing a good laugh is one of the best ways to recharge after a long day.
Here are some ideas of fun games that you can play with family:
- Play a drawing game. You can start first, then pass the paper around the family for them to continue the drawing.
- Play a defying gravity game. Bounce around with two to three balloons with your hands and make sure that they wouldn’t fall on the floor. Playing this with kids is also great for their development as it tests their balance and coordination. It’ll have the whole family laughing, too, with how silly you all look.
- Play hide and seek. This isn’t just for kids; adults can join in the fun as well.
- Play board games. There’s a good reason why board games are a classic family favorite. It’s exciting to see how competitive the entire family can get.
Playing games isn’t all about having fun. It has so many added benefits, especially when staying at home can make you sedentary:
- It enables you to exercise your creativity and see the limits of your imagination.
- It allows you to move your muscles and joints which may have become rusty from being stuck at home.
- It teaches you and the entire family to practice empathy and compassion, especially when you have deal with each other’s emotions in close quarters.
- It builds up family relationships and dynamics.
Staying at home the entire time can lead to weight gain. You’re moving less than usual, and you could also be eating more. These things could also be part of the reasons why you’re under so much stress.
Take a half-hour break each day to work out. Not only does exercise make your body feel and look better, it can also help you sleep better. Apart from those, regular exercise has other benefits to mental health, including:
- It improves your memory.
- It boosts your overall mood.
- It helps with depression and anxiety.
- It increases your self-confidence.
Exercise can improve mental health, as physical activity kicks up the body’s endorphin levels. Endorphins are the body’s “feel good” chemical, and are responsible for feelings of euphoria and happiness.
When the quarantine period first started, you may have felt that finally, you’ll have more time in your hands. Wrong. Compressing everyday tasks within the household, with you being in charge of everything can make you feel like there’s just not enough time in the day. More so when you’ve got to take care of the kids’ needs as well.
No matter how busy you may get, however, take the time to rest and recharge. The body needs sleep to restore both the mind and the body. At the very least, aim for at least seven hours of good quality sleep.
If you find it difficult to sleep, try stay away from blue light before you sleep as this can alert your senses. Make sure to set a routine for everyone at home, and turn the lights off when it’s bedtime.
As you now have more time to prep home-cooked meals, take advantage of this quarantine period to whip up healthy meals. You need this not just for your mental health but also to keep your immune system strong. Just like your body’s organs, your brain also needs a mix of nutritious meals to function well. Remember, the more stressed you are, the more that your body will also increase its need for certain nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin B.
Here are some of the best foods to incorporate in your diet, to function well:
- Herbal tea, as this promotes warm and calm feelings
- Red wine and dark chocolate, since these improve blood flow, which also means a seamless delivery of key nutrients to the brain. Also, the feeling of indulgence in itself can reduce stress
- Whole grains, because these can increase the levels of serotonin, which boosts mood and reduces stress
- Avocados, as they’re rich in fatty acids
Focus On Today
Part of the anxiety that’s felt with the pandemic today is the uncertainty of tomorrow. Will kids ever go back to school again? Will jobs resume, particularly for the unemployed? How long will businesses stay closed? Will you have enough savings to supply your daily needs while unemployed? Will you get sick from the virus? There are just so many thoughts that’ll run in your head and that can only make the situation even worse for you.
A much better thing to do is to focus on today. Think of tomorrow only when it comes. As the saying goes, cross the bridge when you get there. When you train your mind to focus on today, you’ll feel less stressed and anxious about what hasn’t happened yet.
Being quarantined at home is also a very good time to live in the moment with your family. Take time to enjoy the sun in the garden as the kids play. Have a cup of coffee as you watch the world outside.
Just because you don’t have to report to your office physically, doesn’t mean that every afternoon can be happy hour. While it’s normal to have a few drinks to de-stress, don’t do this every day, as it can lead to alcoholism. You wouldn’t want to develop an addiction while on quarantine, because this can also be harmful to your mental health. On the other hand, if you used to struggle with alcoholism because of your work environment or your peer, now that you’re just home, it’s a great time to start the withdrawal process.
Too much consumption of alcohol can distort the brain’s normal functioning. Remember that the soothing effects that alcohol can give you are only temporary. In the long run, your body will feel even worse as the pleasant effects wear off.
When a health crisis happens, it’s easy for people to get sick not just from the disease itself but through other surrounding negative aspects. For instance, you may be physically healthy but when you’re stressed, your immune system will suffer. You should endeavor to stay healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. Otherwise, you’re just making yourself more susceptible to getting infected, as your immune system becomes compromised.
If this crisis has added so much stress in your life, there are plenty of stress-busters for you to try out. Apply the tips above to start improving your mental health. More importantly, when you’re happy and mentally well, you’re also influencing everyone quarantined in the same place to stay positive as well.