During a global pandemic, understandably anxiety and distress may be increased due to both primary factors, such as fear of the virus itself, or secondary factors, such as those associated with having to isolate from others. However, there are multiple ways to both protect and improve mental health during such times.
Maintain your routine
Daily routines can play an important role in protecting mental health. Either maintaining existing routines or creating a new one is recommended and should feature: going to sleep and waking up at similar times each day, exercising regularly, putting aside specific times to work and relax, eating healthy, regular meals and maintaining personal hygiene. Adhering to such factors can increase purpose and motivation and improve overall mood and wellbeing.
As a growing number of people worldwide are being urged to remain at home and limit their physical contact with others, feelings of isolation may be on the rise. To prevent this isolation from adversely affecting your mental health, it is crucial to reach out to others.
Use technology to your advantage and try to communicate with your family members and friends who you are unable to see face to face through video calls or group chat.
Learn a new skill
One way to improve your mental health is to keep busy. If you are self-isolating, learning a new skill can be a great way to improve your mental wellbeing by increasing your sense of purpose and boosting self-esteem.
Whether it is baking, cooking, signing up for an online course, or learning a new language, using your time to take up something of interest to you can keep the mind active and focused, while filling up your day.
Ask for help
If you have an existing mental health condition that has been exacerbated by COVID-19, or, perhaps, you are developing new anxiety or depressive symptoms, it is important to ask for professional help.
A lot of medical providers are operating in revised ways during the pandemic, such as through video or telephone consultations. Therefore, those requiring emotional support can still get the help they need.