Maintaining Mental Health during COVID-19

The CDC and WHO have recommended that we stay at home in order to fight the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. As we are being told to hunker down and stay at home, you may experience a higher level of anxiety, depression or overall mental discomfort. We thought it would be helpful to provide some tips in maintaining mental wellness during this unknowing time. 

To begin, we think it is important to discuss what to be aware of before we get into some helpful practices. 

  • Recognize your stress: This is a very unprecedented time and you may feel yourself extremely stressed out and unable to relax; however, listen to what your mind and body are telling you. 
  • Manage what you can; release what you cannot: Find solace in the fact that no one knows what is to come of this, which means you are not alone. Find projects around the house to do, read the book you have been waiting to read, begin to go through your things to donate–find something to keep your hands busy and your mind from wandering. 
  • Know your limits: Do not go at this alone. Reach out to people whether it be a phone session with your therapist, your family, your friends. If you are in a state that is not on full lockdown and you can go for a walk, go outside and go for a walk; however, remain vigilant and respectful of the Covid-19 CDC guidelines. 
  • Practice self-care: Try to think of this time as a way to reset and show yourself some love. 

Helpful practices during this time for your mental health: 

  • Have a routine (as much as possible): This will help you feel as if there is still some normalcy
  • If possible, get outside. Take a walk or a run outside everyday, or sit outside and read a book: Follow the Covid-19 CDC guidelines; however, getting outside will help you feel less confined and will give you a break in the day to observe and absorb different sights and scenes. 
  • Declutter your home: You have been putting it off, now is a great time to tackle that project. 
  • Mediate, or give yourself a moment to just take some deep breaths 
  • Maintain community and social connection: Plan phone calls, dinners, FaceTime calls, etc. with your loved ones to retain your sense of community. It may feel different, but you will feel more connected and will continue to foster your relationship throughout this trying time. 
  • Be of service, but from a distance 
    • Answer phone calls and reach out to people who may also be struggling with mental wellness during this time. 
  • Practice gratitude: Find a friend who you can send a gratitude list to every day, or begin to keep a journal of what you are grateful for day to day. 
  • Be easy on yourself: If you watch TV all day one day, don’t tell yourself you messed up. It is ok to not be doing this perfectly. 

Remember, we are all in this together. If you feel yourself struggling, please reach out. You are not alone.