By: Grace Gufler
The Coronavirus pandemic has many of us practicing social distancing and staying at home as often as possible. As important as that is, social distancing can have a negative impact on mental health over prolonged periods. Therefore, it is important that you be mindful of how your mental health is being impacted over the next few weeks. In this blog post, you will find some helpful tips to help you manage your mental health while practicing social distancing.
Make a List:
Boredom and restlessness are very likely to occur over the next few weeks as many of us are limited on social activities or are stuck at home. The boredom, loneliness and social withdrawal that can come with social distancing is a perfect breeding ground for anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. Therefore, it can be helpful to have a list prepared of activities to do over the next few weeks. It is important that you stay active to keep your mind engaged and feel the joy that comes from being productive and accomplishing tasks. Here are some examples: deep clean, rearrange the furniture, make an obstacle course, play board or card games, do work out videos, have a movie marathon, do a puzzle, knit, read a book, listen to podcasts or write letters to friends and family.
Provide Structure and Establish a Routine:
The difficult aspect of social distancing or working from home is that our routine becomes disrupted. This can be very anxiety-provoking and stress-inducing for many people. For this reason, it is important to find ways to provide structure to your daily life. Establish a new routine for your day to help you stay organized, energized and motivated. For example, if you are working from and have more time in the morning, add a new activity to your morning routine. Cook a healthy breakfast, journal, read a book for a while, or practice yoga are all some great examples of activities to practice in the morning during the time you would normally be commuting to work.
Make Time for the Positive:
The media attention on the Coronavirus exposes us to a lot of negative information and it can be easy to become consumed with reading information about the outbreak. It is important to set boundaries around the amount of negative and stressful news information you are exposed to daily. Due to the increase of negative information we are receiving, it becomes important to spend time on positive thoughts to provide a balance to the negative. One way to incorporate positive thinking during your day is to practice gratitude exercises. Take some time to write down 2-3 things you are grateful for every day.
Counseling Services from Accepting Therapy
I hope this blog post helps you manage your mental health while practicing social distancing and spending more time at home. If you are experiencing heightened anxiety, depression or other mental health issues due to the Coronavirus, please reach out to a therapist near you. For those of you who live in the Chicago area, all the therapists at Accepting Therapy are offering virtual therapy sessions via video. Please contact us to set up an appointment!