This post is a part of YKA’s dedicated coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak and aims to present factual, reliable information. Read more.
With stay-at-home orders, unemployment, and infection, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. As the Coronavirus spreads, public health actions such as isolation and social distancing are necessary to reduce the spread, but they can make us feel isolated and lonely and can also increase stress and anxiety, worsening our mental health. The Coronavirus has upended our daily routines, future plans, and lifestyles. Our new reality poses a unique set of challenges for all of us. This is the time to do all we can to protect our own mental health as well as of those we love. Taking care of ourselves is important, so that we are equipped to help our families through these tough times.
Listed below are things we can do to strengthen our mental health during the pandemic:
We should try to limit our media intake to a couple of times a day and use trusted news sources only. We should take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories because hearing about the pandemic constantly can be upsetting.
We should take care of our body by trying meditation, yoga, deep breathing, stretching, eating healthy, keeping ourselves hydrated all day, exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and so on. Getting plenty of sleep can keep our immune system running at its best to fight off infections. It also keeps stress in check.
Try out intuitive eating. It is important to pay attention to our body and what it needs in the moment: a meal or a snack?
We should add preventive measures like taking vitamins, calculating our oxygen level everyday, and getting vaccinated whenever it is available.
We should clean our hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and use alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol in it.
We should always look for opportunities to laugh. Laughing is a great therapy.
There are several qualified mental health counselors available to help us. We can talk to them virtually about our worries.
Besides healing ourselves, we can make a donation of money, supplies, or time to a cause we care about, including blood donations.
Besides this, we should try to do some activities we enjoy doing like deep cleaning our living space, re-organizing our closet, starting a new creative project, and so on.
We should also try to talk with people we trust through mail or on the phone. Moreover, helping others cope with stress through phone or video calls can help us and our loved ones feel less lonely or isolated.
If we are feeling lonely, we can jump out to YKA forums which are safe and supportive.
We can also make a music playlists for our different moods/vibes, asking our friends to add their favorites too. We can also read books and novels from our favorite genres.
The best and most common way people are spending their time is by trying out DIY tips and tricks from YouTube and making their homes beautiful. In addition to this, learning how to cook tasty and healthy recipes and letting your mother rest a bit is also a great initiative.
Have you ever wanted to get into drawing or learning a musical instrument? If yes, this is the perfect time to make a start. I am learning to sing along, while playing my ukulele these days. YouTube has great free online tutorials for pretty much everything. We can also share videos and lectures on how to stay healthy and positive through our YouTube channels, if you have one.
Along with these, we need to remind ourselves that it will end someday, even if we might not have a clear end date. We will definitely return to our regular lives in the days to come.