Top Ways to Work on Your Mental Health During the Pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it can be difficult to maintain mental health. People often face loneliness and sadness as they are separated from other people. Many people shift from their normal activities during the pandemic. For some, this means staying at home and/or not going to work.
For others, it might mean a shift to different responsibilities at work or home. No matter what shift occurs, people tend to have less routine and structure, which can also lead to mental health struggles.
This can be especially difficult for those who are used to socialising with others daily and those prone to depression or anxiety. However, there are many ways to keep your mental health as healthy as possible during these times of difficulty. Here are just a few:
Try Online Therapy
Contrary to a popular belief, therapy isn't helpful only when you have a serious mental condition. It can be an incredibly helpful tool in getting through difficult patterns of thought and feeling. If you are experiencing feelings of loneliness or depression from being at home, therapy can help you cope with those feelings healthily.
During pandemics, it may be impossible to get an appointment with a local therapist, but there are many options for therapy online. This can be a great way to get the most out of your treatment during a time when it is difficult to do so in traditional ways.
The best thing about online therapy is that it can be done in the comfort of your own home and in a way that fits into your schedule. The professionalism provided by online therapists is just as good as that provided by local therapists. You'll be surprised what a relief it can be to have someone who understands you to help you through such a difficult time.
A new type of therapy that is often used during pandemics is teletherapy. This is a great option for those who cannot get to their therapist or who live in areas that are heavily impacted by the pandemic. Teletherapy uses live video chat between you and your therapist, allowing them to see your facial expressions and body language while they provide feedback.
The way it works is not all that different from traditional online therapies, but it does give therapists the chance to have more insight into their client's problems through being able to see certain things about them. Plus, because of its flexible nature, this can be a wonderful option for people at home.
One mental health technique that has been proven to be especially beneficial during difficult times is mindfulness. Mindfulness techniques help you stay focused on the present moment instead of worrying about the past or future. This way it becomes easier to accept difficult situations and to understand your emotions without reacting to them out of control. This can reduce mental stress significantly and increase mental well-being. This technique is better achieved through regular practice, but it can be achieved even if you just take a few minutes each day to relax and focus on your breathing.
One simple suggestion is getting up early in the morning and taking small moments throughout the day to be engaged or 'present' in your current surroundings or situation. You could do this by focusing on something small you see every day such as shapes of clouds in the sky, patterns on curtains, or even the leaves on a tree. Anything that makes you feel engaged in your surroundings can be used as an opportunity to practice mindfulness.
There are also mental health professionals who recommend guided online meditations that can help you learn ways to relax and reduce mental tension during challenging times.
Look for Ways to Keep Busy
When you're at home during a pandemic, you might feel as though there's nothing to do. This can lead to getting caught in a downward spiral of negative feelings. It's easy for people to spend most of their time sitting around watching movies or TV shows, thinking about how sad or lonely they are without realising that there is so much else they could be doing.
People have thrown themselves into all kinds of hobbies during this time because it has given them something positive to focus on. Whether you want to try blogging, knitting, playing video games, drawing comics, baking delicious treats, or even learning languages with websites like Duolingo--there are plenty of ways to keep your mind engaged and happy during the pandemic.
Keep an Eye on Your Diet and Exercise Routine
Many people find that mental illness can be triggered by poor eating and exercise habits. This is especially true during a pandemic when people are staying at home more often and not getting outside as much. It's important to make sure that your diet is healthy and balanced, but also to make sure it isn't too small or monotonous. After all, you're going to be spending a lot of time with yourself during this period!
One simple but effective approach might be to vary your meals as much as possible, so that you don't feel as though you're eating the same thing over and over again.
Find a Way to Connect with Others
It may not always be possible for you to connect with others in person during a pandemic, but it's important to make an effort if you can. Many people find that they feel much worse when they withdraw from the world and disconnect completely.
This could mean reaching out online or through a social network or talking with friends on the phone when possible. These connections will help you feel less alone and remind yourself that there are many other people just like you who are going through this difficult time too.
If you can, try to connect with someone each day, even if it's just with a quick phone call. While it may be hard to get others to agree to this when they're also feeling overwhelmed, it will be worth the effort in the long run. Even talking for 10 minutes can make a big difference.
For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic can be a tough time in which they might experience feelings of depression or loneliness. It's important to remember that these feelings are normal, but that there are many things you can do to work on your mental health.
Having a good online therapist on call for these types of emergencies can be a big help if you find yourself struggling and need someone to talk to who makes you feel validated and understood. Try to stay positive and active, knowing that there's always someone you can turn to and talk.
This article was kindly written and contributed by Victorino Gray.