The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives of people around the globe on all levels. For some, the largest impact has come in the loss of financial security. For others, the biggest affect has been on their ability to socialize outside of their immediate family.
According to the American Psychology Association, one-third of Americans (109 million people) feel as though the consequences of COVID-19 are negatively affecting their mental health. Focusing on these feelings can lead to depression, heightened anxiety, and even self-harm and can exacerbate any preexisting mental problems. It is important now more than ever to take your mental health seriously and to practice self-care. Here are a few tips that might help.
Turn off the news and step away from the internet. COVID-19 has dominated the news cycles since late February. It has been the primary focus of academic journals, news articles, think pieces, and conversation on social media. The constant bombardment of such information and imagery creates feelings of being trapped. You need to keep up with important updates on the virus for your health, but you don’t need to consume every piece of media about it.
Maintain your routine. This is easier said than done since we’re now spending a lot of time at home and practicing social distancing. If you’re unemployed or no longer in school, it’s all too easy to fall into bad habits such as an erratic sleep schedule and being plain unproductive. However, view this situation as giving you more time to hone your routine. Get your morning jog in or go out for a bike ride. Now’s the perfect time to cut out junk food and get in the habit of making healthy meals at home. This will require consistency, but you can now do it at your own pace. Plus, it’s one of the few things you have absolute control over.
Don’t forget friends and family. Just because you can’t be around them physically doesn’t mean you can’t still spend time with them. Connections are essential for mental health, so be sure to stay in touch with your support system. Schedule a video chat date with your significant other. Make routine phone calls to your parents. Have a video chat party with your friends. We are more connected than ever thanks to technology, so we need to utilize it.
For more information, contact the Vereen Center today.