In the midst of managing a crisis such as COVID-19, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and worried. Focusing on how to maintain social distancing, the use of face masks however, identifying ways to manage our mental health is also crucial.
You may have been experiencing increased feelings of anxiety, powerlessness, impatience, irritability or frustration, you have felt uncertain about the future amidst rapidly changing schedules and social plans.
While feeling worried is normal and expected, there are many ways you can increase your resilience during this time:
- MAKE SURE YOU TAKE BREAKS FROM THE NEWS:
After a certain point, news can be more upsetting than informational. Make sure the information you do get is from reputable and non-sensationalist sources. And evaluate how much is helpful for you to read in a day, and aim to stick to that limit. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly.
Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return some normalcy back to your life as much as possible. Make time to unwind and remind yourself that these strong feelings will fade.
- DO A ‘WORRY DROP.’
You can start by writing out all of your fears in a journal until your anxiety has dropped by half.
Make a daily list of what is going well, and remember the things that are going well. Despite the current situation, maybe you’re able spend more time with your kids, or reading a book you’ve been meaning to get to or learning how to cook.
If you have a pre-existing mental health condition, these recommendations are especially important. If you have appointments with your therapist or doctor, keep them. If you aren’t feeling well physically, ask if they have options for video appointments.
- HAVE A PLAN TO COPE WITH DROP IN SOCIAL CONTACT
One of the most prominent ways we have been asked by health authorities to help mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic is to practice social distancing. That means remaining out of places where people meet or gather, and maintaining distance (approximately six feet or two meters) from others.In times of crisis, many people seek connection and comfort from others, this can be down with the help of social media platforms and connecting with loved ones and your friends.
- TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY
Take deep breaths. Stretch. Meditate. Try to eat relatively well-balanced meals, move your body regularly, get plenty of sleep and eat lots of vegetables and fruits. This will help boost your immunity — and your resilience.