Increased isolation, increased loneliness, decreased in person social interactions, a complete 180 shift in routines, strict/moderate quarantine rules, increased boredom, lack of physical movement (driving to the office, getting coffee, etc) and finally fear over everything, fear over that every social interaction could have consequences.
Sadly, the list just keeps going.
As the one-year anniversary (one not worth celebrating) of the pandemic goes on, the coronavirus continues to severely affect people’s lives, ESPECIALLY their mental health.
If you are feeling mentally exhausted, you are not alone. Many of these new challenges have only added to the normal day to day stress prior to 2020. While worry, fear, and stress are normal human responses to threatening situations, so understandably, people have experienced more and more negative emotions than usual during the COVID-19 pandemic. So assess your own emotions and make caring for your mental health a priority in 2021.
Tips for Managing Your Mental Well-being
However, amongst the chaos, there are still many approaches that can help us manage stress and maintain our mental well-being.
- The stay-at-home routine has reinforced our digital usage. Doing the same thing over and over again can lead to fatigue and increased stress. Bringing variety into your routine, such as exercising after long intervals or engaging in other hobbies, can help maintain better mental health. Get up a grab a cup off coffee, drink it outside, say Hi to a neighbor. Ask them how they are doing. Go for a walk while you take that phone meeting.
- Dealing with stressful thoughts on your own can become difficult. Stay connected via social media and share your concerns and feelings with loved ones, as it is an excellent way to get that weight off of your chest. I am not saying to dump everything on Facebook (but if you’re there you can follow me;), that will have consequences of its own. But in general, a little vulnerability helps us process our emotions, and sometimes it can fix our wrong ways of thinking.
- Eating well-balanced meals and getting proper sleep and exercising regularly can improve your wellbeing and help your body maintain its natural resistance towards stress. When it’s sunny out get your 20 minutes of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, and recent research has suggested it may also help guard against severe COVID-19. In speaking with a doctor treating patients in India recently he shared that the people who got their daily outdoor Vitamin D fared the best.
Stay Engaged with People
Some stress is anticipated during this quarantine, and it’s normal. Keep engaged in healthy activities and stay connected with your loved ones, make the call, does it have to be text? Even hearing the sound of one’s voice can do wonders for your day. We used to hide from the phone, preferring texting, but with limited social chances these days, you might be surprised how great it can be again. Don’t let the negativity overtake you and use this time to the best of your advantage.
Need to Talk with Someone?
If you are looking for more mental clarity using a counseling environment, give me a call. I do online, phone and in person meetings.
Thanks for reading!