Amidst all the chaos and insecurity surrounding COVID-19, we want to take some time to remind you how important it is to take care of your mental health and well-being (while, of course, protecting your physical health). For many, the fear, stress and anxiety produced by the current state of affairs will likely be worse than any infection they may get.
So, while protecting your physical health, here are 6 ways you can prioritize your mental and emotional health:
- Create positive experiences: Do more of the things that bring you joy, like making yourself a warm cup of tea, watching your favorite rom-com or facetiming with your family and friends. I especially like trying to introduce some humor in that laughter helps release stress. Try your best to create space for serenity, comfort and pleasure in the midst of the fear, stress and anxiety.
- Set boundaries: If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the news and social media updates, take a step away. Just a minute or two is all you need to calm your anxiety and to regroup and refocus. And, if you start feeling that every conversation relates back to COVID-19 and it feels too difficult for you, simply say, “I’d love to talk about something else right now, please.” Distance yourself socially, and distance yourself from your stress!
- Do, if doing helps: If you are the kind of person who has always been on the go, and you are getting frustrated at how life may be rolling to a standstill, try to find avenues to participate in COVID (or non-COVID) related initiatives, whether it is within your social circle or larger community. The world is coming together in a way that has not been seen before, and there are many wonderful ways of getting involved to help one another.
- Reach out: Although our experiences are unique, we are going through this together. Check in on your friends to see how they are doing and ask them for support, too!
- Be okay with the uncertainty: This one is a lot easier said than done, but we all need to make a mindset shift to accept the uncertainty in this situation while trying to maintain control over the things that we do have control over. We have to learn to be okay with knowing that our plans for the future may not pan out as we had envisioned.
- Tell yourself you’ve got this: Have a go-to affirmation that you can tell yourself when you’re struggling. Something like “I am safe” or “I am strong” or “I’m doing the best I can.”
These are unprecedented times, when we need to focus on staying safe, both physically and mentally. Many of us have more time on our hands that we can use to invest in self-care and me-time. This is an opportunity that we can use to give ourselves a little extra love, kindness, and grace.
Stay safe and stay well!